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Daqing To Host International Championship

Ricky Walden

Ricky Walden beat Mark Allen in last year’s final

Daqing in the north-east of China will host a world ranking event for the first time this season when the 2015 International Championship comes to the city.

The tournament will run from October 25 to November 1 at the Baihu Media Broadcasting Centre in Daqing, in the west of China’s Heilongjiang province.

The International Championship is the richest snooker event staged outside the UK, with total prize money of £657,000 and the winner to collect £125,000.

Ricky Walden won the title last year by beating Mark Allen 10-7 in the final. The event was first staged in 2012 in Chengdu, won by Judd Trump in that year and Ding Junhui in 2013.

The qualifying round will be staged in Barnsley from September 30 to October 3, with all players needing to win one match to go through to the last 64 at the venue. However the defending champion (Walden), World Champion (Stuart Bingham) and the top two Chinese players will have their matches held over to Daqing.

Miles Pearce, World Snooker’s Chief Representative in China, said: “We are delighted to bring a major snooker event to the wonderful city of Daqing for the first time. There is an incredible level of support for snooker throughout China so it’s important to continue to the grow the sport through holding events in new cities.

Green carpet

Snooker is extremely popular in China

“The World Snooker International Championship has rapidly become one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar and will be contested by an extremely strong field. Alongside the promoter CCTVSE we look forward to delivering another top class sporting event.”

The draw will be announced after the entry deadline of September 16th.