Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Chinese teenager takes Northern Ireland Trophy

AFP , BELFAST

Chinese teenager Ding Junhui (丁俊暉) lifted the Northern Ireland Trophy on Sunday with a 9-6 win over Ronnie O'Sullivan and joined a select group of players to have won three ranking snooker titles before their 20th birthday.

The Chinese sensation emulated the feats of former world champions O'Sullivan and John Higgins and helped himself to a ?30,000 first prize.

It was 19-year-old Ding's third major title to add to his 2005 China Open and UK Championship crowns.

Ding's latest title triumph was watched by his mother Chen Xi Jun and her son was delighted to pick up another trophy.

"This match was more difficult for me than playing Steve Davis in the UK final," Ding said.

"I always felt under pressure and I had to play better than I did against Steve. It's a good start to the season and maybe, at the end of it, I might win the World Championship," he said.

O'Sullivan was full of praise for Ding.

"He has a natural gift and doesn't make any mistakes and that's why he is a winner," O'Sullivan said.

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