World snooker championships set for Singapore in 2017
World's best snooker women set to battle in Singapore
Singapore will host the Ladies' World Snooker Championship for the first time next year.
The inaugural edition was in 1976 and this will be the first time the tournament is held outside the United Kingdom in 22 years, after New Delhi hosted the event in 1994 and '95.
With a prize purse of £8,000 ($15,000), the 2017 world championships will be held at the Lagoon Billiard Room in Safra Toa Payoh from March 13 to 19.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Cuesports Singapore president Christopher Chuah said: "We were asked by Mandy Fisher, president of World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS), whether Singapore would be keen to host this tournament.
"We agreed because we felt that hosting this event would raise the profile of Singapore and place us on the global map of snooker.
"We also intend to leverage on this event to promote the sport among the ladies which we have identified as a huge catchment area."
World No. 1 and 11-time champion, Englishwoman Reanne Evans, will be in town to defend her title, which she regained after beating Hong Kong's world No. 2 Ng On Yee in this year's final.
In 2015, Ng had halted Evans' 10-year winning streak.
Others to look out for include former world No. 1 Maria Catalano, who is the cousin of men's snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan.
"We expect to see more Asian players, as well as local participants such as Chai Zeet Huey, Amy Hoe, Regina Toh and Jessica Tan," said Chuah.
With Lagoon Billiard Room, Quality Hotel Marlow and the Sport Singapore media team as partners, the cost of hosting the event has been pegged at around $15,000, while Cuesports Singapore is looking for other sponsorship and partners in the form of transport and event officials.
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Jason Ferguson said: "This marks the beginning of our effort to engage more women to take up competitive snooker.
"Fundamental to the growth of WLBS is that players all over the world have the opportunity to compete and the events... Mark a new beginning.
"It is our view that engagement with the regional and national governing body network will see more women stars emerge and compete for places open to all, (at the) World Snooker Tour."