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European U-21 snooker championship underway

On Thursday, the Under 21 category got underway at the European Championship, currently being played at the Dolmen Hotel.

The tournament is considered as a very important part of this championship since the winner will be nominated by the European Billiards and Snooker Association to receive a two-year World Snooker Tour Card for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.

This means that the winner will have the right to participate as a professional player in the best competitions of this sport around the world with the best snooker stars of the moment.

Ninety-six players are taking part in this category and next Sunday a winner will be crowned after 207 games that have to be played between the group and knock out stages along with the final.

All the group games will be completed over two days and the Maltese contingent in this category, formed by Jake Agius, Luke Pace and Xavier Rizzo, were drawn against very tough opposition in their respective groups.

Agius has already played and lost against English player Ryan Davies while Luke Pace went down to Iulian Boiko from Ukraine.

Davies and Boiko are among the favorites to win this title next Sunday.

Davies in this category is the second best player in the snooker rankings in England while Boiko, who is still 17 years old today, was already a professional in the World Snooker Tour during the seasons 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Incidentally these two had met each other in the round of 32 during the 2020 Junior Open Championship of the World Snooker Federation which took place in Malta. That day Davies was victorious in the decisive frame.

Friday’s schedule of matches included the Under 18’s last sixteen and later on Friday evening the quarter finals.

Now the final three games of this competition along with other Under 21 matches will be played on Saturday.

 The first semi-final between Vladislav Gradinari (Moldova) and Liam Pullen (England) will be played at 10 am while Artemijs Žižins (Latvia) meets Bulcsú Révész (Hungary) at 2pm.

The final which will be played on the best of seven frames will start at 8 pm.  

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