Friday, March 5, 1999 Published at 14:07 GMT
Thai snooker ace defies death threat
James Wattana, the world's 16th ranking player, played in the face of the threat
By Sports Correspondent Harry Peart
Sports officials in Thailand have confirmed that top Thai snooker player James Wattana was threatened with death if he beat his opponent during a tournament in Bangkok.
A Thai Snooker Association official, Sakda Rattanasuban, said the call was taken seriously by the authorities and Mr Wattana was given a plain clothes police escort, with extra police posted at the hotel where the tournament was being played.
Mr Wattana's mother asked her son to withdraw from the tournament.
He did not withdraw, but lost the match against a higher ranked player, Ken Doherty, who was unaware of the death threat.
The snooker ace believes the threat was connected with organised gambling.
Seven years ago his father was shot dead, and although the crime has not been solved, gambling is suspected to have played a part.