Ding Junhui is keeping local fans cheering in Wuxi
China’s A and B teams both hit top spot in their respective groups at the Nongfu Spring World Cup in Wuxi with impressive 5-0 wins on Wednesday.
The host nation’s A team – Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong – thrashed Austria 5-0 to take first place in Group A with 13 points. Malta are on 12 points after a surprise 3-2 defeat against Singapore, while India also have 12 thanks to a 5-0 win over Norway.
There are two more rounds of group games to be played, then the top two in each group will progress to the quarter-finals.
China’s B team, comprising teenagers Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao, stormed to a 5-0 win over UAE in Group D. They now have 11 points, just ahead of Thailand who beat the Republic of Ireland 3-2. English due Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham are in fourth place on eight points following a 4-1 win over Germany.
World Champion Bingham said: “It’s a good win for us today, even though we lost a frame. Hopefully we can push on now and qualify from what is the toughest group. It will probably come down to our last match against Ireland. We’ve got to beat UAE first to stay in with a chance.”
Belgium retain a narrow lead in Group B as a 3-2 win over Hong Kong put them on 11 points. Scottish pair John Higgins and Stephen Maguire are a point behind following a 4-1 defeat of Malaysia, while surprise package Brazil remain in contention as a 4-1 win over Iran put them on nine points.
Welsh duo Mark Williams and Michael White continue to thrive in Group C; their 4-1 win over Qatar left them with 13 out of a possible 15 points. Northern Ireland’s Gerard Greene and Joe Swail are second on 11 points despite a 3-2 defeat against Australia.
Neil Robertson of Australia said: “We have shown improvement as the week has gone on. There are still ten frames to be played so we need to win as many as possible and see if it’s enough.”