Jackson Page snooker

Jackson Page. Pic: Getty Images

Jackson Page To Share Crucible Spotlight With Ronnie O’Sullivan

All wales sports

By Paul Jones

Welsh youngster Jackson Page will face history-chasing Ronnie O’Sullivan at the start of the World Snooker Championship.

The 22-year-old Page, from Ebbw Vale, will share the spotlight as the sport’s best take to the green baize at the Crucible from Saturday, with the winner crowned in Sheffield on Sunday, May 6.

Seven-time world champion O’Sullivan begins his quest for an unprecedented eighth title of the modern era with sixth seed Welsh and legend Mark Williams taking on Si Jiahui.

Reigning champion Luca Brecel faces David Gilbert. Brecel beat Mark Selby in last year’s final and the Belgian gets his defence under way against Gilbert.

Last year’s runner-up Selby will take on Joe O’Connor in all-Leicester encounter, while third seed Judd Trump will play Hossein Vafaei in an exciting first-round clash.

Fourth seed Mark Allen faces Robbie Williams in the first round,

O’Sullivan heads to the Crucible as reluctantly as ever, yet he is arguably never in a stronger position to go one better than his great rival and further enhance his surely unarguable status as the greatest snooker player of all time.

It is a mark of his true greatness that O’Sullivan finds himself in such a position at the age of 48, and having adopted an almost lackadaisical public approach to his sport, picking and choosing his events and constantly deriding his own performances and occasionally those of his peers.

While other players sweat and toil and chisel their way deep into the Crucible’s 17 days, O’Sullivan will waft in and out with an agenda led by the prospect of lucrative exhibitions and ambassadorial deals with the likes of Saudi Arabia, further underscoring his status as simply a player apart.

There are a handful who have proved themselves more than capable of sinking O’Sullivan – not least his fellow ‘Class of 92’ star Williams, who routed him 10-5 in the Tour Championship final last month and is exhibiting some of his best form in years.

Selby, despite another torrid season which resulted in him recently threatening retirement, still summoned a rare 6-0 whitewash of O’Sullivan in February, while emergent Chinese star Zhang Anda beat him in back-to-back tournaments earlier in this campaign.

Jamie Jones Makes It To The Crucible After Beating Former World Champion

All wales sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.