- Liang Wenbo
Infobox Snooker player
Name = Liang Wenbo
Born = birth date and age|1987|3|25
Nationality = flagicon|China Chinese
Nickname = The FearlessCite web|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article3804732.ece|title=Ken Doherty loses status after fearless show from Liang Wenbo|accessdate=2008-09-05|publisher=The Times Online|year=2008|author=Phil Yates]
Professional = 2004 - present
High ranking = 40
Current rank = 40
Prize money = GB£40,460
High break = 134 - 2005 UK Championship Qualifying
Best finish = Quarter final - 2008 World Snooker Championship
Ranking wins =
Other wins =
World champ =
Liang Wenbo (zh-c|c=梁文博,
pinyin: Liáng Wénbó ; born 25 March 1987, Heilongjiang, China) is a professional snookerplayer. He is left-handedWorld Snooker|id=9880|name=Liang Wenbo|accessdate=2008-09-06] and currently ranked as China's number 2 snooker player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England.
As an amateur, Liang's major feats were as follows:Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Asia/China/china_liang_wenbo.htm|title=Player Profile: Liang Wenbo|accessdate=2008-09-05|publisher=Global Snooker Centre|year=2006|author=Janie Watkins]
*2003 IBSF World Snooker Championship, men's division, quarter-finalist
*2004 IBSF World Snooker Championship, under-21 division, semi-finalist
*2005 Pontins International Open Series, under-21 division, no. 4 runner-up
Liang built on the positive start to his snooker career, winning an individual silver medal and a team gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games.
During the 2004/05 snooker season, Liang took part in the Challenge Tour (now called the Pontin's International Open Series), the tier below the Word Snooker Association Main Tour. He finished a lowly 104th out of 168 competitors, having only accumulated 2150 points.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/04-5CTranks.htm|title=2004-5 Challenge Tour Rankings|accessdate=2008-09-05|publisher=Global Snooker Centre]
Despite not qualifying for the main
snookertour directly, Liang received a wildcard nomination to the main tour;Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/05-6mtlist.htm|title=2005-6 Main Tour List|accessdate=2008-09-05|publisher=Global Snooker Centre|year=2005] this was because he won the 2005 IBSF World Under 21 Championship and because not all the players that were eligible for the main tour took their places.Cite web|url=http://www.csns.ca/Archives/ibsfjsnk.html|title=IBSF UNDER-21 WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIPS|accessdate=2008-09-05] In his first ranking tournament, the 2005 Preston Grand Prix, Liang lost in the first qualifying round to Rory McLeod 5-2. [wayback |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070814222934/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/res05_6/2005GrandPrix.htm|title=2005 Grand Prix at the Global Snooker Centre] In the next ranking event, the 2005 UK Snooker Championship, he faired better, nearly whitewashing Alfred Burdenin the first qualifying round 9-1; he lost in the second qualifying round to Marcus Campbellby the narrowest of margins, 9-8. [wayback |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070815153604/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/res05_6/05UK.htm|title=2005 UK Championship at the Global Snooker Centre]
It was to be at the 2005 Welsh Open where Liang would qualify for his first ranking event; he beat
Sean Storey, Jamie Burnettand Rory McLeodto get into the main draw. His first opponent in the main draw, Nigel Bond, who had played professional snooker since 1989 was whitewashed; Liang won 5-0. His run was halted by Graeme Dottwhen he lost 5-3. [wayback |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070322185315/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/res05_6/05-6WelshOpen.htm|title=2006 Welsh Open at the Global Snooker Centre]
However at the
Malta Cuphe lost in the first qualifying round to Paul Davies 5-3. [wayback |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070814221209/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/res05_6/05Malta.htm|title=2005 Malta Cup at the Global Snooker Centre] At the China Open he beat David McDonnelland Matthew Couchbefore losing Adrian Gunnell5-3 in the third qualifying round. [wayback |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070818192354/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/res05_6/05China.htm|title=2006 China Open at the Global Snooker Centre] He ended the season, falling at the first hurdle at the World Snooker Championshiplosing to Joe Delaney 10-5 in the first qualifying round. [wayback |url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2005-6/06worldqual.htm|title=2006 World Championship at the Global Snooker Centre] He ended his debut season on the professional tour ranked 78th on the tour, which did not guarantee a place in next season's tour; however he just finished inside the top 8 one year list, qualifying him for a place in next season's main tour. [ [http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/06-7maintourlist.htm 2006-7 Main Tour - Eligible Players] ]
During the 2006/07 season, Liang reached at least the second round of qualifying in every ranking event. At the
Northern Ireland Trophyhe beat Robert Stephen5-0 before falling to David Gilbert 5-0 in qualifying. Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/06-NItrophy.htm|title=2006 Northern Ireland Trophy|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] However, at the Aberdeen Grand Prix, Liang came top of his qualifying group, above more experienced players such as Gerard Greeneand Barry Pinches. He put in a commendable performance, finishing fourth in the group, and although he did not qualify for the next round, he did beat former world champion and world number one Stephen Hendry3-0.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/06-Grand%20Prix.htm|title=2006 Grand Prix|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] At the 2006 UK Snooker Championship, he lost in the second round of qualifying to Jamie Burnett9-7.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/06_UK.htm|title=2006 UK Championship|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] In the following ranking event, the 2007 Malta Cup, he lost to Joe Jogia5-3, again in the second round of qualifying.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/06-7Malta.htm|title=2006-7 Malta Cup|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] He qualified for his third ranking tournament, at the Welsh Open by beating Dene O'Kane, Joe Jogia and Mark Davis. In the Last 48, he met Nigel Bond again, only this time losing 5-3.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/2007-Welsh-Open.htm|title=2007 Welsh Open|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre]
He continued his run of reaching the second round of qualifying in every ranking tournament at the China Open, he beat Robert Stephen before losing to to
Finland's Robin Hull.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/2007-China-Open.htm|title=2007 China Open|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] At the World Snooker Championship he beat Jeff Cundybefore losing to Mike Dunn.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2006-7/2007-888-qual1.htm|title=2007 World Snooker Championship|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] After a modest season, he improved on his tour ranking by finishing in 66th place, just outside the top 64;Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/06-7prov-ranks.htm|title=2006-7 Main Tour - Final Rankings|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre] he topped the one year ranking list to ensure his place on the WSA Tour for next season.Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/06-7one-year-ranks.htm|title=2006-7 Main Tour - One Year Rankings|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre]
Liang's season started brightly; he nearly qualified for the Shanghai Masters, however again Nigel Bond beat thim 5-3 in the last qualifying round preventing him from appearing in his home tournament. At the Grand Prix, he could not repeat the success of last season and failed to qualify finishing third on just frame difference. The next tournament in Northern Ireland brought more luck; he won through the qualifying beating
Fraser Patrick, Joe Delaney and Rory McLeod on the way. In the last 48, he faced Gerard Greene, and lost 5-2. He did not do as well in the UK Championship; he lost in the second qualifying round to David Roe9-2. He also failed to qualify for the Welsh Open, falling at the last hurdle losing to Andrew Norman5-2. At his other home tournament, the China Open he fell at the first hurdle, losing in the first qualifying round to Steve Mifsud, who at the end of this season was ranked 54 places below him. Cite web|url=http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Rankings/2007-8-prov-ranks.htm|title=2007-8 Main Tour Rankings|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=Global Snooker Centre]
2008 World Championships
At the championship itself, he drew a first round meet with
Ken Doherty, of whom he beat by 10 frames to 5. Before the start of this match, Wenbo accidentally entered the arena with the match officials and had to scurry back. He subsequently got a warm ovation when he entered the arena for a second time after being introduced by MC Rob Walker.Cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bso93-OwBI0&feature=related|title=Liang Wenbo's Days in Crucible Theatre 2008|accessdate=2008-09-06] For every session thereafter, Walker introduced him as "Should he stay or should he go... Liang Wenbo", despite the rhyme occurring because of a mispronunciation of his name ("bo" is pronounced "booa" in Chinese).
Liang faced Ireland's
Joe Swailin the last 16 of the tournament. In a humorous incident, Liang fluked a red after scattering the balls, but failed to notice and went back to his seat. To laughter, Swail pointed out his mistake and the referee called Liang back to the table. In the 23rd frame, Liang, with a 12-10 lead, prematurely celebrated winning after potting match ball, only to go on to lose the frame due to a snooker. Swail came back to level the match at 12-12.Cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/7370116.stm|title= Liang edges out Swail in classic|accessdate=2008-09-06|publisher=BBC Sport|year=2008] In the final frame, Liang made breaks of 34 and 30 early on. He missed the final yellow but snookered Swail, leaving the white in the jaws of the pocket. Liang played a safety and Swail snookered him behind the blue, but Liang failed to hit the ball and Swail had the white replaced. Liang then hit the yellow directly.
This incident proved controversial as the referee replaced the white in the wrong position, giving Liang a better sight of the yellow. At the time, Swail nodded his assent to the referee, but in a post-match interview, complained and accused Liang of unprofessional behaviour for not pointing out the referee's error. Commentators countered that Swail should have queried the placement of the ball before Liang took his shot, and given the tension of the situation Liang could be forgiven for not thinking clearly. Liang went on to win the frame 74-34, and thus, the match.
In the quarter final Liang faced the tournament favourite
Ronnie O'Sullivan. Liang took the first two frames with a break of 80 in the first. O'Sullivan levelled the match 4-4 by the end of the first session. In the second session O'Sullivan eased ahead, and went on to win 13-7.
After the World Championships
Liang's unexpected run to the quarter-finals gained him 5000 ranking points, boosting his final ranking to number 40 in the world. This would guarantee that at most he would only have to play two qualifying matches to get into the main draw of the ranking tournaments.
Liang began the new season by qualifying for the last 48 of the
Northern Ireland Trophy. At the venue he then beat Steve Davisand Peter Ebdonto reach the last 16, where he lost to John Higgins5-1. This result lifted him to a provisional career high of 26 in the world.Cite web|url=http://www.worldsnooker.com/provisional.htm|title=Provisional World Rankings|accessyear=2008|accessmonthday=September 6|publisher=World Snooker] . At the Shanghai MastersWenbo defeated Atthasit Mahitthiand Mark Allento reach the main draw. He lost to Ryan Day5-0 in the first round. [http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Results/2008-9/Professional/2008-shanghai-draw.htm]
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