Sunday, September 25, 2011
Bi Zhu Qing Surprise Winner of Women's World 9-Ball Championship in China
BY TED LERNER
Story Courtesy World Pool Billiard Association
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MY147.COM
SHENYANG, CHINA -- Bi Zhu Qing stands no more than 4’11”. But Sunday night in Shenyang, this tiny woman became a giant of women’s pool and a sporting hero in the most populace nation on earth. This after the relatively unknown from Beijing defeated world number 2 and heavy favorite Chen Siming 9-7 to capture the 2011 Women’s World 9-ball Championship.
Bi’s title win capped an incredible day for the 23 year old. Up until Sunday, she was mostly unknown beyond her professional peers in China, where the women’s game is wildly popular and its top players are legitimate stars. She is ranked number 7 in China and 81st worldwide and had never won any pool tournaments of note.
That all changed on the last day of the Women's World 9-Ball Championship in this northeastern city of 7 million people. After she quietly worked her way through the field at the Liaoning Hunnan Sports Training Arena beginning Thursday, Bi shocked defending champion and world number one Fu Xiaofang in Sunday’s semi-final, 9-6. Playing the role of underdog perfectly, Bi played seemingly without a care in the world, while the pressure of stardom and expectation appeared at times to get to Fu.
“I’m very happy, very excited,” Bi said afterward as a throng of media snapped the new champion’s picture. “That’s the best I ever played. Fu and Chen are great players and to beat them both in one day makes me proud. I was more nervous during the finals than in the semi-finals but I wanted to do my best because this was my chanced to achieve my dream. So I tried to relax.”
Chen hardly seemed disappointed as she joked with Bi in the media room afterwards and posed for photos. She realized that she hadn’t played her best and, with a gracious manner typical of all the Chinese women pool players, gave full credit for the win to Bi.
“The first three racks I played well,” Chen said. “But after that, Bi played better than me. I’m happy for her.”
Bi won $30,000 while Chen took home $15,000.
The World Pool Association (WPA) is the world governing body of pool. The 2011 Women's World 9-ball Championship is being sponsored by Chevrolet Automakers. Star is the official pool table, while Andy is the official table cloth. The event is sanctioned by the WPA and the Chinese Billiard and Snooker Association, (CBSA).