Chinese quartet to compete at World Snooker Championship

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In this Nov 26, 2019 photo, Zhao Xintong of China competes during the Snooker UK Championship 2019 first round match with Alexander Ursenbacher of Switzerland in York, Britain. (HAN YAN / XINHUA)

Chinese players Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao, Ding Junhui and Liu Haotian are going to compete at this year's World Snooker Championship which will unveil in the Crucible Theater in Sheffield on Saturday.

Both Zhao and Yan reached the year-ending tournament in the pro tour as the top 16 players in the world ranking while veteran Ding and world No. 64 Liu grabbed their berths after battling through the qualifying stages.

Zhao, ranked seventh in the world, will face the world No. 66 Jamie Clarke in the first round. The 25-year-old Zhao won his first ranking event title in the UK Championship last December then added another by winning the German Open in January.

2021 Masters champion Yan is going to meet the world No. 62 Chris Wakelin in the opening round. The 22-year-old failed to reach the quarterfinals at last year's World Championship.

Meanwhile, Ding and Liu will play against Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham respectively.

Former world No. 1 Ding has won 14 ranking titles. But the 35-year-old suffered a setback this season as his world ranking has slipped to 29.

The 2022 World Championship will start on Saturday and run until May 2. Defending champion Mark Selby will open his campaign against Jamie Jones on Saturday morning.

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