PLYMOUTH’S Chris Coumbe is preparing to fly out to Singapore next week to take part in the World Billiards Championship.
It is the first time since 2019 that the long-format World Championships, which date back to 1870, have been held and they will feature 45 of the best players around the globe.
Coumbe qualified for one of the oldest sporting championships as he is currently ranked eighth in the world.
It is not the first time he has competed at the World Championships. He first took part in the 2015 event and also featured at the last one in Melbourne, Australia, three years ago.
Coumbe, who will be joined in Singapore by Liskeard’s Chris Mitchell, is relishing taking on the world’s best and visiting Asia for the first time. He says his main aim is to get out of the group stages.
“There is going to be lot of good players so if I can get through to the knockout stages that is pretty much my main aim really,” said Coumbe. “Then just see what happens.
“It is going to be a strong field as it is the main event on the calendar.
“The Australian players are quite strong and there will be lot from Singapore in their home country. There is also quite a good number from England going over.”
The event is to be held in the state-of-the-art Ronnie O’Sullivan Snooker Academy in Singapore and it will be streamed live.
“I’ve never been to Singapore before. This will be the first time I have been to Asia,” said Coumbe. “And the Ronnie O’Sullivan Academy is one of the best venues in the world so the conditions are going to be really good.”
Coumbe’s will fly out on Tuesday and will play in the Singapore Open, a warm-up event, on November 19-20, with the World Championships starting on November 21 and finishing on November 24.
Coumbe has been busy this season, competing in a number of events in England, Jersey, Ireland and Belgium. His best performance on the World Billiards circuit this year was reaching the semi-finals of the Jersey Open in February.
He doesn’t have a sponsor and so has to self-fund all his trips overseas. But he loves the sport and is keen to keep promoting it.
“I started playing snooker at Matchroom when I was 11 and did that for maybe four years before Steve Brookshaw introduced me to billiards through the West of England,” said Coumbes.
“I have always carried on playing snooker but from that point I was really focused on billiards.
“It’s quite hard to put a finger on why I love it, but it’s quite a creative game and there’s a lot of variety. Once you start improving and start making bigger breaks, you can keep on improving.”
Coumbe has been drawn in the same group as Liskeard’s Mitchell. Also in the pool is fellow Englishman Steve Allen, Australian Anna Lynch and Chris Chew from Singapore.