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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 18:34 GMT
China hosts world ranking event
World Snooker, the sport's governing body, have confirmed that Beijing will host a world ranking event this year.

The China Open will take place at the Chaoyang Stadium in Beijing from 27 March to 3 April, the last tournament before the World Championships.

Business Development Director Charlie Burt said: "World Snooker has been a UK centric organisation for too long. This is a major development for the sport."

Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams and John Higgins are all set to compete.

The top 16 players qualify automatically for the tournament, and will be joined in the Chinese capital by 16 more players who will come through qualifying this month.

World Snooker has staged tournaments in China before, the first ranking event was in Guangzhou in 1990 and there were four more in Shanghai and Shenzen from 1999 to 2002.




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