By Bolong Zhang & Aisin Gioro
A cold rainy morning in Linyi did not impede the first day of the tournament. The event got underway with a 384-player full field here in Linyi.
As is the custom, there are 32 seeded players who will enter the event in the later stages while the other 352 competitors competed in the Stage 1 to determine who will go through to the next stage. Team Mongolia, consisting of 11 players, went off to a good start.
E.Temuujin, a young player who was a 7th Grand Finals contestant, beat Yu Enze, and T.Otgonbayar, enjoyed a comfortable win over Li Jichun. The afternoon saw a comfortable win for B.Narantuya, the woman warrior won a landslide victory over her Chinese opponent Du Junlong.
Malaysian player Reza Hassan met Ding Wei, a strong Chinese player in his first game. Ding was definitely in a great form, he broke and ran 4 times out of 7 racks. Reza failed to resist this unstoppable offensive and lost the match by 2-7.
Although losing the match, Reza congratulated his opponent with generosity, “First and foremost I would like to congratulate my opponent for winning this match. He played really well, made a few runouts I think, and I missed a few shots.”
Reza also mentioned the local development of Chinese pool, “Chinese Pool in Malaysia is growing very fast. So orders are coming in from all the states all over Malaysia, so hopefully in a few months’ time we can grow this sport more in our country and be as great as China.” He says he’s obsessed with the game, “I’m falling in love of this sport so back home I practice more of this than snooker. So this game is getting inside of me bit by bit.”
Players in the loser’s bracket will face their decisive battle tomorrow. Winning or going home, let’s wait and see.