Longer than a marathon: Sheffield witnesses longest frame in snooker history ahead of Crucible World Championships

Fergal O'Brien beat David Gilbert 10-9 at Ponds ForgeFergal O'Brien beat David Gilbert 10-9 at Ponds Forge
Fergal O'Brien beat David Gilbert 10-9 at Ponds Forge
The longest frame in professional snooker history was played out in Sheffield last night as Fergal O'Brien booked his place at the Crucible for next week's World Championships.

The Irishman beat England's David Gilbert 10-9 in the final round of qualifying at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

The deciding frame lasted two hours, three minutes and 41 seconds - 44 seconds longer than the men's marathon record.

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The previous record of one hour, 40 minutes and 24 seconds was set by Alan McManus and Barry Pinches at the 2015 Ruhr Open.

O'Brien said: "Obviously in an ideal world you win a bit quicker than that.

"The balls went scrappy in the colours and I was so tired, double-checking everything and I'm so, so relieved.

"I'm looking forward to the draw now."

O'Brien,'s reward for the tiring victory was a showdown with world No 1 in the first round - after the draw was completed at 10am on Thursday morning.

The 45-year-old, who has made nine previous Crucible appearances, had not made the main draw since 2010.

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