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Thursday April 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 12:47:11 AM
SHEFFIELD: Thailand’s rank outsider Dechawat Poomjaeng held his nerve to edge sixth seed Stephen Maguire 10-9 in the first round of the snooker World Championship on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old – ranked 70th in the world – had a nervous wait after their match was so slow they had to be taken off so the evening session matches could take place and only returned after they finished.
Maguire, a semi-finalist last year but who already had three first round exits to his name at the championships, levelled to 9-9 once they resumed play to take the match into a deciding frame.
Poomjaeng, showed few of the nerves that had marked his entrance on Monday when the game got under way. He went to the wrong entrance of the playing arena then walked to the wrong table.
Maguire had a chance to win it in the final frame but an error allowed his Thai opponent to the table and he made no mistake, rattling off a 63 break to set up a second-round meeting with Welshman Michael White.
Maguire gave his opponent credit for his win but could not hide his frustration at some of the Thai player’s behaviour.
Poomjaeng was seen laughing and smiling at spectators and apologising for his lucky breaks – and his slow play.
“I don’t think he’s the full shilling. I’ve never seen him before but there’s definitely something missing. He seems like a really nice boy and very genuine,” said Maguire.
“The crowd seemed to take to him and got behind him at the end and he seemed to be enjoying it.
“At the end it was a good break that he made. He plays very slow and he reminds me of Peter Ebdon. He’s very similar. I was asking the referees, and that’s his game. It works for him.
“I’ll have a pint and forget about it and move on to next season.”
Poomjaeng, who is just the third Thai player to play at the championship, could well be joined in the second round by two other Asian players later.
China’s Ding Junhui leads veteran Scot, and former semi-finalist, Alan McManus 7-2.
Junhui was in fine form against his 42-year-old opponent, who was making his first appearance at the Crucible since 2006, and rattled in two century breaks.
Junhui is bidding to improve on his woeful record in the championship, with a semi-final appearance in 2011 the only time he has gone beyond the second round.
Hong Kong star Marco Fu also enjoyed a profitable first session, ending it 6-3 up on experienced Welshman Mark Stevens in a game that will also finish later.
Junhui and Marco both abandoned the custom of walking out to music at the start of play in a show of respect for the victims of the China earthquake that has left over 180 dead.
Junhui also played the session wearing a black armband. — AFP
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