Thailand’s Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan has defeated Bai Yulu of China 6-3 to win the World Women’s Snooker Championship for the first time at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok.
The victory ensures that Nuanthakhamjan will join the professional World Snooker Tour from the start of the 2023/24 season.
The historic 40th staging of the World Women’s Snooker Championship saw the event return to the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok for the first time since 2019, with an all-star field which featured 17 of the world’s top 20 ranked players.
Following a dramatic four days which saw a shock last 16 defeat for three-time world champion Ng On Yee at ther last 16 stage, as well as semi-final exits for the world’s top two ranked players Mink Nutcharut and Reanne Evans, it was Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan and Bai Yulu who progressed to only the second ever all-Asian final in the history of the tournament (2017).
Competing in her debut World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour event, 19-year-old Bai had already made headlines following her record-breaking 127 in the group stage, before she came back from 3-1 down to defeat 12-time champion Evans in what had been an eagerly anticipated semi-final clash.
For Nuanthakhamjan, having defeated five-time finalist Maria Catalano to top her group, she overcame world number five Jamie Hunter, Bayarsaikhan Narantuya of Mongolia and defending champion Nutcharut 5-2 to reach the title match.
It was Bai who made the early running as she led 2-0 and then 3-2 at the mid-session interval. Crucially, however, it was the Thai star Nuanthakhamjan who claimed frames three and six – both with pressure pots on the final black – to remain in contention.
After she took the seventh frame to lead the best of 11 frame contest for the first time, the momentum was in her favour and she finished strongly by adding the following two frames to seal a career-best victory and a place on the professional circuit for the first time.
The victory sees Nuanthakhamjan become only the 14th different winner of the tournament during its history, the third from Asia and only the second from Thailand following Mink Nutcharut’s success a year ago.
Having played snooker since the age of 14, Nuanthakhamjan made her WWS Tour debut at the 2017 World Championship in Singapore where she reached the quarter-finals, before reaching the semi-finals two years later at Hi-End. She is also a former Women’s Snooker World Cup winner and finalist at the mixed-gender Thai national championships.
It was not until April 2022 that she began to compete on the WWS Tour full-time and her victory in Bangkok will now see her enter the world’s top 10 for the first time at number nine.
Victories for Ramachandran and Talbot-Deegan
Alongside the main World Championship, the five-day event also saw the latest staging of the World Women’s Under-21 and Seniors Championships, with a new winner crowned in each competition.
India’s Anupama Ramachanran capped a week to remember as just days on from her victory at the Women’s Snooker World Cup, the Chennai cueist ended the reign of two-time defending champion Ploychompoo Laokiatphong with a 3-2 victory in the Under-21 competition.
The 20-year-old had already accounted for Sophie Nix, Saravalee Songsermsawad and Bai Yulu to reach the final, before she came back from 1-2 down to end Laokiatphong’s bid for a hat-trick of junior world titles.
There was also a maiden victory for England’s Mary Talbot-Deegan in the Seniors Championship as she defeated 2017 World Championship finalist Vidya Pillai 3-1 in the final.
Competing in the event for the first time, 42-year-old Talbot-Deegan reached the final with victories against Altangerel Bolortuya of Mongolia and India’s Pooja Galundia, while Pillai accounted for defending champion Tessa Davidson and former world number one Maria Catalano to reach the title match.
The opening frames were shared as Pillai top scored with a run of 59 in the second frame, but it was to be Talbot-Deegan who would not be denied as she won the following two frames to claim her maiden world title and second Seniors crown in total.
Finally, there was also victory for India’s Amee Kamani in the final of the Challenge Cup, for players who did not reach the last 16 of the main competition. She defeated Waratthanun Sukritthanes of Thailand 3-2 in the final and also compiled the highest break of the Challenge with a run of 71.
World Women’s Snooker would like to thank all of our partners who helped to make the tournament possible, including the Billiard Sports Association of Thailand and Hi-End Snooker Club.
There is one event remaining of the 2022/23 season as the Tour returns to the UK for the staging of the British Open at the Landywood Snooker Club from 13-14 May. Entry for the event is still open HERE.
Article by World Women’s Snooker.