Snooker fans predict this year’s world champion in Sheffield

28 April 2022

By Nelson Walker

Snooker fans have predicted who they think will triumph in this year’s World Snooker Championship as the prestigious tournament nears its conclusion on Sunday.

The tournament is the pinnacle of the snooker calendar and is currently in the quarter-final stage, with semi-finals due to take place from Thursday.

Sheffielders and tourists have weighed in with who their money is on to reach the summit of world snooker.

A large television screen has been installed in Sheffield City Centre between The Crucible and the Winter Garden to enable fans to keep up with the action.

A large television screen has been installed in Sheffield City Centre between The Crucible and the Winter Garden to enable fans to keep up with the action.

Hassan Nagi, from Sheffield, said: “I had a bet with a mate, and I had O’Sullivan. I am hoping that he gets his seventh [world title], maybe gets his eighth, something you will never see again. He is not admitting it but he does want to win, even though he says it is just a game.”

Six-time Crucible champion Ronnie O’Sullivan stormed into the semi-finals with an imperious 13-5 victory over Scotsman Stephen Maguire, and has emerged as the bookies favourite to win the tournament and join Stephen Hendry on seven world titles.

Two Belgian tourists also believe O’Sullivan is the man to beat.

Laurens Dirx, an officer worker, and Niels Willems, a local politician from Leuven, Belgium, said: “We flew in this morning. O’Sullivan is the most charismatic player. We booked our tickets two years ago and they were postponed two times [because of the pandemic]. We wanted to see O’Sullivan!”

His quest for a seventh world title may see him on a collision course with the inspired Welshman Mark Williams who is bidding for a fourth world title.

He last reached snooker’s summit in 2018 and is in fine form this year, knocking out the impressive Chinese player Yang Bingtao, who had knocked out defending champion Mark Selby in the last-16.

Sheffield Winter Garden with a huge banner advertising this year's World Championship. Defending champion Mark Selby is in the centre of the banner.

Sheffield Winter Garden with a huge banner highlighting this year’s World Championship. Defending champion Mark Selby is in the centre of the banner.

Ken Collins, from South Wales, backs his fellow countryman but insists it is wide open: “I watched Mark Williams yesterday. Anybody can win it. At least one of the three from the Class of 92’ (O’Sullivan, Williams and John Higgins) will go to the final.

“I watched Mark Williams against John Higgins in the 2018 final and it was one of the best. He was well in front of Higgins and then Higgins came back. It was very tight at the end. A brilliant final.”

Williams will face Judd Trump in the semi-final after Trump’s 13-8 victory over Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals.

O’Sullivan will confront Higgins in the other semi-final match-up after the Scotsman saw off Jack Lisowski 13-12 in a pulsating final frame decider.

By Sunday night, the 2022 world snooker champion will be revealed.

Written by Nelson Walker

Second Year BA Journalism Studies student at The University of Sheffield. Blog writer for Motion Exercise. Forge Press and Forge Radio contributor.

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