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Thursday, May 13

Five of Yan Bingtao's potential successors as China's dominance takes shape

:Headline: Five of Yan Bingtao's potential successors as China's dominance takes shape: ID:431127: from db_amp
No fewer than 19 Chinese players currently inhabit the world's top 100.

Yan Bingtao's stunning victory over John Higgins to claim the Masters title in Milton Keynes on Sunday night could prove to be a seminal moment in snooker's long-predicted power-shift towards the east.

No fewer than 19 Chinese players currently inhabit the world's top 100, and here, the PA news agency picks out the five most likely candidates to follow in Yan's wake.

Zhou Yuelong

Zhou Yuelong is tipped to be China's next snooker star (Dave Howarth/PA)

No less than John Higgins hailed the 22-year-old Zhou after being knocked out of last year's UK Championship. "He's got a great temperament and all-round game, and he'll be here for years to come," said Higgins. Currently ranked 21, Zhou has already reached two ranking finals.

Zhao Xintong

Zhao Xintong has caught the eye of Ronnie O'Sullivan (Nigel French/PA)

In terms of raw talent, few come close to the 23-year-old over whom Ronnie O'Sullivan fawned: "He (Zhou) is like the Federer of the snooker world, no lie. He is beautiful to watch." An extraordinary potter, Zhou has so far reached three ranking tournament quarter-finals.

Yuan Sijun

Currently ranked 53, Yuan boasts a string of wins over star names like Higgins, Mark Williams and Kyren Wilson, and has the praise of Stephen Hendry ringing in his ears. "He's one of the best youngsters I've seen since the likes of Ding, Ronnie, Mark Williams or John Higgins turned pro," gushed Hendry.

Chang Bingyu

The 18-year-old Chang earned a two-year tour card in 2019 and made his mark the following year by beating Mark Allen en route to the third round of the UK Championship, where he was nudged out in a final-frame decider by his compatriot, Zhou.

Pang Junxu

The 20-year-old Pang has enjoyed a remarkable debut season on the tour, beating Barry Hawkins to reach the fourth round on his debut at the European Masters, and sinking Stephen Maguire to repeat the feat in his first appearance in the UK Championship.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City35255572264680
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool35179961412060
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham351771155451058
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs351681161412056
8Everton35168114642456
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds35155155353050
11Aston Villa35147144941849
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35129143547-1245
13Crystal Palace35118163759-2241
14Southampton35117174462-1840
15Burnley35109163347-1439
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35109164058-1839
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton35813143641-537
RFulham35512182547-2227
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom35511193268-3626
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3552281862-4417
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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