Surprise package Chuan Leong’s run ends in semis

PETALING JAYA: Former SEA Games champion Thor Chuan Leong (pic) hardly plays in the shorter format of snooker but he surprised himself by going all the way to the semi-finals of the World 6-reds championship in Kuala Lumpur.

In the semi-finals yesterday, Chuan Leong went down 4-5 to Habib Sabah of Bahrain at the High-End Snooker Centre in Cheras but not after a good fight.

The four-time SEA Games winner had Sabah by the jugular after taking a 4-3 lead but allowed his opponent to make a comeback.

In the last eight earlier yesterday, it was Chuan Leong’s turn to upstage one of the tournament favourites Pankaj Advani of India as he came from behind (3-4) to win 5-4 to earn his semi-final spot.

“I did not play in the World 6-reds for a long time and I’m surprised by my run. A little disappointed as Sabah came back strongly to beat me but anything can happen in 6-reds,” said the 34-year-old Chuan Leong.

“I was trailing in the quarter-finals but came back to beat Pankaj. This is the nature of 6-reds event.

“I reached the last 16 at the Asian 6-reds here last week and this is an improvement. Next will be the world team championships where I’m hoping for a good result.”

Chuan Leong, who won the 2014 Asian Championships, has also played professional squash between 2015 and 2016 and also during the 2019-2020 season.

He will be partnering Reza Hassan in the world meet starting tomorrow.

Malaysia will also be banking on 2015 champions Lim Kok Leong-Moh Keen Hoo to book a place in the final.

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