Ding, O'Sullivan among first inductees to inaugural World Billiards Hall of Fame
Published: Mar 18, 2024 01:01 AM
Ding Junhui (left) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

Ding Junhui (left) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

 The World Billiards Hall of Fame opened in Yushan, East China's Jiangxi Province, on Sunday, with China's Ding Junhui, seven-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and female veteran Allison Fisher among the first inductees. 

Ding is a trailblazing figure and the first Asian snooker player to ascend to the pinnacle of the sport, while O'Sullivan has been hailed for his extraordinary talent and charisma and is often considered the "GOAT" (greatest of all time) in the sport. 

Ronnie O'Sullivan (middle) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

Ronnie O'Sullivan (middle) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

 Joining them were five other luminaries, including Fisher, a versatile player excelling in both snooker and US pool, and Efren Reyes, celebrated as one of the greatest and most popular figures in US pool history.

Wang Tao, chairperson of the Chinese Snooker Association, emphasized the cultural resonance of sports and its role in fostering high-quality development and enriching the lives of people. 

"This cultural connotation is the true soul of a sports project, capable of meeting the people's high-level needs for sports participation and spiritual enrichment," Wang told reporters. 

"It is a type of new quality productive force for the sustainable development of modern sports projects and an important driving force for achieving high-quality development in the Chinese snooker industry."

The selection process for the Hall of Fame involved a Nomination Committee and an Evaluation Committee composed of representatives from international and regional snooker organizations. 

The global governing bodies in the sport, the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF), World Union of Billiards (UMB), the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPBA) all participated in the Hall of Fame evaluation.

Allison Fisher (middle) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

Allison Fisher (middle) Photo: Courtesy of organizers

 In conjunction with the Hall of Fame inauguration, the World Billiards Museum was also unveiled in Yushan, a milestone in preserving and showcasing the rich heritage of snooker. 

Spanning over 13,500 square meters, the museum provides a comprehensive overview of the sport's evolution, equipment, major events, cultural traditions, and historical figures, offering visitors a captivating journey through snooker's illustrious past.

Qiu Xiangjun, mayor of Shangrao which governs Yushan, praised the museum as an essential platform for cultural preservation and the promotion of international sports excellence, as Yushan is known as the "capital" of Chinese snooker for harboring the industry.

Global Times