Historic Women’s Billiard Event Kicks Off
First-Ever Women’s World 10-Ball Championships Begins
by Edward Asistin
The first-ever Women’s World 10-Ball Championships are being held at the SM City Mall North Edsa in Quezon City, Metro Manila. The event is being promoted by Dragon Promotions and is sanctioned by the WPA. Both the press conference and the players’ meeting were held on Monday, June 1, with play beginning Tuesday.
One of the stories of the Women’s World 10-Ball Championships was the venue itself, which is split between two areas. The main tournament tables are in what is called the Sky Dome, which is part of an expansion area to the mall called the Sky Garden, and the TV table is located a short walk away in the atrium of another part of the mall called “The Block.” There are four tournament tables, and one practice table located in the Sky Dome. The location is both unique and challenging to the players for the reason that the top of the dome is about 40% transparent, letting in sunlight to the interior of the structure and adding to the illumination of the lights hanging above the pool tables. Players are not used to this type of lighting, which might pose as another obstacle to deal with other than the balls on the table. Most venues for a pool tournament don’t let in any sunlight, with lights hanging over each of the pool tables.
Another interesting story is the entry of an 11-year-old qualifier from the Philippines named Gillian Go. She is stirring up a little bit of talk among the conservative Filipino community in that they are asking why there is a young girl playing with the women, and also why her parents would allow her to play. Go proved she belonged with the women when she won her first match of the day against Lyndall Hulley (Australia) 5-3.
The group stages of day one yielded a few unexpected results. Players were divided into eight groups of six, with each player playing five matches against each of the others in their group in a race to 5, round robin format. The top 16 players were seeded in the tournament, with 2 going to each group as the number 1 and 2 seed in their group. The rest of the players were placed randomly throughout the groups. Three players from each group will advance to the single-elimination phase, and the top player in each group will get a bye into the second round of the single-elimination bracket.
Four top seeds in their group suffered a defeat on day one. The first top seed to suffer a loss was reigning Amway World 9-Ball Champion Chieh-Yu Chou (Taiwan), who was defeated by former world champion Julie Kelly (Ireland), the number-two seed in group 3, 5-2. The next top seed in their group to fall was Yu-Ram Cha (Korea), who fell to Laetitia Dos Santos (France) 5-1. Another top seed in their group to fall was fan favorite Jasmin Ouschan (Austria) when she was also defeated by the second seed in her group Hsiang-Ling Tan (Taiwan) by a score of 5-2. The last top seed to suffer a loss on day one was Gerda Hofstatter (Austria), who was defeated by Myuki Fuke (Japan) by a score of 5-3.
Most of the other matches on day one went pretty much as expected. The top seeds in each group that went undefeated were Allison Fisher (England), Jeanette Lee (USA), Kelly Fisher (England), and Karen Corr (Ireland). Other players to go undefeated were Veronika Hubrtova (France), Tamara Rademakers (Netherlands), Yuan-Chun Lin (Taiwan), Hsiang-Ling Tan (Taiwan), Mary Ann Basas (Philippines), Shin-Mei Liu (Taiwan), Gillian Go (Philippines), Ga Young Kim (Korea), and Miiyuki Fuke (Japan).