SIBU (May 24): The upcoming Sarawak Closed Snooker Championship looks set to break records even before it kicks off on June 20 at Champion Snooker Centre in Bintulu. It already offers the biggest prize money ever for the eventual champion up to the losing quarter-finalists.
Organisers are expecting the tournament to attract the most number of players from throughout the state. Tournament director Elvis Wong said they are looking at getting the maximum number of 96 players for the annual event.
“We already have received close to 80 entries from throughout the state and once we have hit the maximum, registration will close,” he said while also highlighting that the long list of entries includes many lesser known or new players.
“The high number of new faces taking part in a championship is an indication and acknowledgement that the sport is here to stay and will remain relevant in the sporting fraternity,” he added.
Among the big names who have already registered are last year’s champion Edmund Bong from Kuching, runner-up Yu Hung Kai from Sarikei, former champion Ng Hong Man from Sibu and title contenders from Kuching such as Jet Lee, Tan Chin Yong and Jacob Wong. The evergreen veteran James Giam is expected to make his presence felt.
Swan City Recreational Club Sibu (SCRCS) will be sending eight players led by Mark Yeo and including Jee Chau Hui, James Ting, Sie Leong Ung, Peter Liong, Michael Yao and Aaron Teo.
Miri will be represented by seven players with Paul Wong leading the charge while Sarikei will bank on Chuo Tiong Hock, Chieng Heng Chiong, Patrick Tang and Elvis himself to carve a name for themselves in the tournament.
The championship purse includes RM4,000 for the champion, RM2,000 (runner-up), RM850 each (losing semi-finalists) and RM500 each (losing quarter-finalists).
An additional carrot is the RM500 for the highest century break.
Registration fee is RM50 per person and prospective entries can contact Edmund Bong on 0102966227 or Elvis Wong on 0138093389 for further details.
The annual event from June 20 to 25, organized by Sarawak Billiards Snooker and Sports Federation (SBSSF), will also be the platform to select the top four players to represent Sarawak in the 32nd National Close Snooker Championships to be held in Kuala Lumpur later this year.