World Snooker Championship: Ding Junhui draws Anthony McGill
CGTN

A record six Chinese players will compete in the 2019 world snooker championship to be held at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from April 20 to May 6.

Former World No.1 Ding Junhui, who reached the quarterfinals last year, will take on World No. 24 Anthony McGill of Scotland in the opening day's competition.

Ding defeated the Scot 13-4 in the second round last year but he will find it harder on Saturday since he has not maintained good form this season, slipping to the 10th on the latest world rankings.

Four of the six players are debutants at this year's championship as Zhao Xintong, Luo Honghao, Tian Pengfei and Li Hang progressed at qualifying. Zhou Yuelong was the other Chinese besides Ding to have experience at the Crucible.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said "We want the young players coming through in the sport and China has been fantastic at providing that."

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, who just regained the world top spot last month, will face amateur James Cahill in the first round.

Cahill, 23, came through three rounds of qualifying to become the first non-professional to appear in Sheffield.

Defending champion Mark Williams faces Martin Gould and world number two Mark Selby, also a three-time world champion is up against Zhao Xintong.

World number seven Judd Trump plays Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

This year's tournament will boast a record total prize money of 2.231 million pounds with the winner collecting a record 500,000 pounds.

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will face amateur James Cahill in the first round. /VCG Photo

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will face amateur James Cahill in the first round. /VCG Photo

Full first round draw:

Mark Williams vs Martin Gould

David Gilbert vs Joe Perry

Barry Hawkins vs Li Hang

Kyren Wilson vs Scott Donaldson

John Higgins vs Mark Davis

Stuart Bingham vs Graeme Dott

Shaun Murphy vs Luo Honghao

Neil Robertson vs Michael Georgiou

Mark Selby vs Zhao Xintong

Luca Brecel vs Gary Wilson

Jack Lisowski vs Ali Carter

Mark Allen vs Zhou Yuelong

Judd Trump vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Ding Junhui vs Anthony McGill

Stephen Maguire vs Tian Pengfei

Ronnie O'Sullivan vs James Cahill

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency