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Snooker’s return to China confirmed with three events in 2023

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Ronnie O’Sullivan salutes the crowd in Shanghai in 2019 (Photo By Xia Lei – Imaginechina/Sipa Usa)

The World Snooker Tour will return to China for the first time in four years, with a minimum of three tournaments to be staged in 2023.

Aside from last year’s Hong Kong Masters, which was an eight-player invitation event, these will be the first professional snooker events to be staged in China since the World Open in November 2019.

The Shanghai Masters, a 24-player invitational event, will take place from September 11-17, before Wuhan hosts a ranking event for the first time – the Wuhan Open – from October 9-15.

The International Championship will then return to the calendar from November 5-12, with the host city for the lucrative ranking event still to be confirmed.

Total prize money for these three events combined will exceed £2 million and comes as welcome news to both players and fans of the sport in Asia.

WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “This is a momentous announcement for our sport as we ramp up our return to staging events in Asia. To have a minimum of two world ranking events, plus a major invitation tournament, in China later this year is fantastic for the players and fans.

“Throughout the pandemic we have maintained dialogue and relationships with the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association as well as our key partners and promoters across China. This has allowed us to make a fast return to staging key events now that travel restrictions have lifted.

“We promised our players that this was top of our agenda and we have delivered on that promise, adding more than £2 million in prize money to the tour. We will continue to explore opportunities to stage further events in China and beyond.

“We are excited to host a tournament for the first time in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province and a vibrant city of 11 million people. The Shanghai Masters has a long history and is renowned for its prestige.

“There is a vast appetite for snooker among fans in China and they will keenly anticipate the return of our star players. We look forward to working with our partners on building a bright future for snooker in the region.”

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