Statement: Article written by Michael Day.
Talented teenager Wang Ye is the 2018 JOY Cup Chinese 8-Ball International Open Champion, in what is an occasion of prosperity for female cuesports competitors across the world.
This annual invitational event is one of Chinese 8-Ball's most prestigious titles where 64 players traveled to Shijiazhuang, China - 32 from the host nation and 32 from international reaches. Double elimination up until the grand final which was a one-off championship clash, all matches were the first to 13 with a 140 minute time limit.
There was representation from the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal, Philippines, Chile, Romania, South Korea, South Africa and Germany, but it was the Chinese contingent on home soil who dominated the latter stages.
17-year-old Wang was one of two female entrants in the tournament, the other was Veronika Ivanovskaia (Germany). After dispatching Clint I'Anson (UK) 13-4 in her opening round, she then ousted last year's runner-up and three-time World Masters Champion Gareth Potts (UK) 12-11.
Compatriot Liu Xin (13-8) was next to feel her wrath but Wang Peng pushed her to the Losers' Side when she lost by the same scoreline.
However, she bounced back, eliminating Liu Chuang (13-4) and Zhang Kunpeng (13-6) to reach the Losers' Side final, where she gained revenge on Wang Peng by crushing him 13-2.
In the Grand Final she trailed Yu Haitao 3-0, but turned it around to record a memorable 13-11 victory, claiming the title, trophy and 200,000RMB (just over £22,300).
As per the rules of the event, female competitors were allowed a 'one-ball handicap' per frame. This meant that Wang's last remaining spot or stripe was physically removed from the table before she played the 8-Ball. On Social Media there has been debate about this ruling and how much of an advantage it is, especially given Wang's talent and ability.
Whether this needs to be looked at or not by the tournament officials for future competitions, it shouldn't take the gloss off Wang's supreme performance - she was merely playing to the rules set out. Wang is one of the most natural looking female cueists I have ever seen and a very impressive potter - for those who do not watch Chinese 8-Ball, it is played on snooker sized pockets, but with the bigger size American Pool balls.
It appears Wang has a bright future ahead; it would be interesting to see her play Snooker - I believe she could do some damage on the larger table.