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Yan On Course For Crucible Debut

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Yan Bingtao boosted his hopes of becoming the second youngest player ever to compete at the Crucible as he took a 6-3 lead over Alexander Ursenbacher in the first session of their Betfred World Championship final qualifying round clash.

China’s gifted Yan was born in the year 2000 and will be 17 years and 58 days old when the Crucible stages start this Saturday. Luca Brecel currently holds the record for the youngest player at Sheffield’s Theatre of Dreams – he was 17 years and 43 days in 2012.

Switzerland’s Ursenbacher is also seeking his Crucible debut and hoping to become the first amateur to play there. But he soon found himself 6-1 down as Yan knocked in breaks of 59, 54, 53 and 90. Ursenbacher kept his hopes alive by taking the last two frames with a top run of 80, but he needs to win seven of the last ten frames in the final session on Wednesday.

Brecel himself is on target for a first Crucible appearance since 2012 as he leads Dominic Dale 6-3.

Xiao Guodong is just two frames away from the Crucible as he built an 8-1 lead over Mark King. China’s Xiao fired runs of 64, 111, 62, 128 and 67.

The match between David Grace and Akani Songsermsawad will produce a Crucible debutant. Leeds cueman Grace currently leads 6-3.

Peter Ebdon, the 2002 World Champion, is 6-3 up on Michael Holt.

Click here for all the scores. All matches play to a finish on Wednesday.