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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 12:55 UK

Tabb named Crucible final referee

Snooker referee Michaela Tabb
Tabb has made swift progress up the ranks since making her debut

Michaela Tabb will become the first woman to referee snooker's World Championship final next month when she takes charge of the Crucible decider.

The 41-year-old from Dunfermline has been officiating on the professional Tour since 2001.

The former Ladies European Pool champion officiated at the finals of the 2007 Welsh Open, the 2008 Masters at Wembley and this year's China Open.

"I've been chosen because of my standard of refereeing," she said.

Tabb, who made her first World Championship appearance in 2003, added: "When I started, I couldn't have imagined I'd come this far.

"At the beginning, my only ambition was to be a good referee. It was only after I'd been on the circuit for around three years, when I realised I had the ability, that I felt had the potential to get this far.

"I will be nervous and the worst time for me will be after I set the balls up before the final. After that there's a wait of about 40 minutes until the match starts. It will seem like the longest 40 minutes of my life and there will be butterflies.

"But after the first frame I'll be fine as the big occasion brings the best out of me."

The competition begins on Saturday in Sheffield with the final on 3 and 4 May.

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see also
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Ask The Ref - Michaela Tabb
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Snooker on the BBC
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