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Chinese debutant Cao rocks Allen to reach last 16 at snooker worlds

(Xinhua)

10:46, April 23, 2012

SHEFFIELD, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Crucible Theater debutant Cao Yupeng stunned the home crowd on Sunday as the Chinese qualifier beat world number 11 Mark Allen 10-6 in the first round of the World Championship.

Cao, who turned professional last year, was playing his first season on the main tour and had to win four matches to reach the 32-player main draw of the elite-studded Championship which runs from April 21 to May 7.

The 21-year-old Cao, who showed no signs of nerves in his debut show, will face either his compatriot Ding Junhui or Ryan Day from Wales in the last 16.

"It was a big challenge and a big win for my career," said the winner, who was dubbed as "Super Cao" by Worldsnooker.com.

"The atmosphere here is fabulous. I have never felt this kind of excitement before," Cao said of the famous Theater where the Championship has been staged since 1977 and the current contract runs until 2015.

Allen, the Haikou World Open titlist, said he hadn't expected strong challenge from the world No. 81 and was not well prepared.

"I maybe under-estimated him a little bit early on and he put me 3-0 behind (first session). That turned out to be a turning point, because to give someone who's obviously a good enough player a three frame start is hard to recover."

Cao had battled to a 5-4 lead on Saturday in the first session under the best of 19 frame format.

The Chinese potter settled straight into the final session today, winning the opening two frames including his first Championship century as he fired with a break of 108 to go 7-4 ahead.

The 26-year-old Northern Irishman won the next but two more frames won by the rookie, including another three figure score of 113, left him just one step away from the biggest win of his career.

Allen showed his stamina to compile a break of 101 to stay in touch at 9-6. He aimed to reduce the deficit further but as he potted the final black he turned to see the white roll into a baulk corner, which handed the match to Cao.

Meanwhile, 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy took a temporary 5-4 lead over Welshman Jamie Jones. Their concluding session will be continued on Monday afternoon.

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