Two world champions and the reigning women’s world No. 1 player are out to foil Jasmin Ouschan’s bid for back-to-back championships in the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship, which begins Wednesday in two separate venues: Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas and Nuvo City in Libis.
Siming Chen, whose rise to prominence started when she won the the Philippine Open is capable of beating anyone in the tournament, including the top-ranked Australian.
Chen also won the China Open and placed second to compatriot Bi Zu Qing in the recent Women’s World 9-ball Championship.
The 18-year-old Chinese competitor isn’t the only cue artist tipped to give Ouschan a run for her money.
Fu Xiaofang and Lis Sha Sha, both winners of the World 9-Ball Championship, are also expected to contend. The two Chinese stalwarts are frequent visitors to the Philippines, playing against the country’s best players and using it as part of their training for the women’s 10-Ball event.
“They’ve been playing at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City,” said Yen Makabenta, chairman of the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines. “Since these Chinese players are friends of Mr. Sebastian Chua, the owner of the billiards center, they’ve been training there and playing against some of our best male players.”
Other notable entries in the tournament include last year’s runner-up Ga Young Kim and fellow Koreans Erica Eunji Park and Amway Cup winner Yu Ram Cha, and inaugural Women’s World 10-Ball champion Rubilen Amit of the Philippines.
European competitors are also expected to challenge for the title, with Allison and Kelly Fisher of Great Britain and Karen Corr of Ireland, who are veteran participants in the Women’s Professional Billiards Circuit, joining the event.
But all eyes will be on Ouschan, a crowd favorite whenever she competes on Philippine soil.
She started to turn heads when she took part in a male event –- the World Ten Ball Championship –- before becoming a regular fixture in the Philippines.
Last year, Ouschan’s dream of winning a title in the country finally came true when she defeated the Ga Young Kim in the finals of the event.
“I can’t believe it happened, but for me, winning a championship in the pool capital of the world is the most special,” said Ouschan, who is also a former world No.1 player.