Kok Leong makes historic semis at World Championship

KUALA LUMPUR: National cueist Lim Kok Leong created history on Thursday by becoming the first Malaysian to reach the semi-finals of the World Amateur Snooker Championship.

The 27-year-old advanced after beating Poland’s Antoni Kowalski 4-2 (87-7, 101-0, 0-88, 98-0, 32-77, 87-24) in Antalya, Turkey.

Earlier, Kok Leong cleared his last-16 hurdle by upstaging last month’s Asian Six-Red Championship winner S. Shrikrishna 4-2 (79-14, 18-71, 32-70, 94-0, 124-0, 99-52).

Kok Leong will face Pakistan’s Babar Masih later today for a place in the final.

The other semi-final pits Finland’s Robin Hull against Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh

Kok Leong was elated to go one better than his previous best feat of reaching the last eight in Doha, Qatar in 2017.

The three other Malaysians who had made it that far were Yong Kien Foot (Malta, 1992), Sam Chong (England, 1995) and Moh Keen Hoo (Syria, 2010).

Kok Leong is eager to make the country proud again after bagging the six-red gold at the Vietnam Sea Games earlier this year.

“I’m so happy to make it to the last four for the first time.

“Now that I have come this far, I want to try go all the way to win it,” vowed Kok Leong, who also did well to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Six-Red Championship last month.

Kok Leong already had one world title to his name — the 2015 World Amateur Team Championship with Moh Keen Hoo in Karachi, Pakistan.

But an individual crown would certainly mean even more to him as he looks to join an illustrious list of past winners which include English legend Jimmy White, Hong Kong’s Marco Fu, Scotland’s Stephen Maguire and Thailand’s James Wattana.

Chooi Yew Wah was the other Malaysian in action last night but was beaten 4-1 (38-70, 90-0, 67-34, 59-26, 65-57) by Latvia’s Rodion Judin in the last 16.


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