Snooker: Sheffield's EIS to stage World Championship qualifiers

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Sheffield’s English Institute Of Sport will stage the qualifying rounds for snooker’s Betfred World Championship next April.

The Coleridge Road venue will host the qualifiers for the first time in five years, having done so from 2009 to 2013.

Last year’s qualifiers were held at the city’s Ponds Forge centre.

The qualifying event will run from April 11 to 18, 2018, with all players ranked outside the world's top 16 in action.

There will be 128 players in all, each needing to win three matches to earn a coveted spot at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The final stages then run from 21 April to 7 May.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: "We are delighted to bring the qualifiers for our biggest tournament back to the EISS.

“We staged this event at this venue for five years so we know what an excellent location it is, with superb facilities.

"The Betfred World Championship qualifying event is a very exciting time for snooker fans, even before the main tournament starts at the Crucible.

“Between now and the China Open in April, all pro players will be determined to secure a top 16 spot, because those outside that bracket face the tough task of winning three matches to make it to the Crucible.

"In recent years we've seen an array of talent competing in the qualifiers, including Jimmy White, Mark Williams, Ken Doherty, Stephen Maguire, Luca Brecel, Ding Junhui and women's World Champions Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee.

"Such is the standard on our tour now that there are sure to be some fantastic players who miss out on an automatic Crucible berth.

“And the qualifying event is eight days of top class snooker and dramatic action, with such a big reward at stake.

"It's an incredible chance for fans to see many leading stars on multiple tables, especially for fans who missed out on tickets for the Crucible, which sold out in two days back in May. Tickets for the qualifiers will be on sale from December 1st."

The English Institute of Sport Sheffield is the country’s largest multi-sports training centre; the training home of Olympic and World champions as well as national teams GB Boxing, British Wheelchair Basketball and British Para Table Tennis.

Andrew Snelling, Chief Executive of SIV which operates EISS said: “Recently crowned Welcome to Yorkshire Business Tourism award winner, the whole SIV team are delighted to be hosting World Snooker.

“We look forward to welcoming players and spectators alike to the impressive English Institute of Sport Sheffield and promise an exciting qualifying competition once again.”