World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is set to face UK winner Zhao Xintong in an exhibition match after opening his first snooker academy in Singapore.
The world No. 1 marked the inauguration of the Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker Academy (RoSSA), a 16,000 square-foot venue housing 12 snooker and 16 pool tables by rolling in a majestic 147 maximum against Thailand's Nutcharut Wongharuthai, the women's world champion.
The country's Minister for Culture Edwin Tong joined the record 39-time ranking event winner to open the new facility.
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"Rather than start our academy in the United Kingdom, where snooker is already well-established, we feel Asia is the future of the sport," said O'Sullivan.
“Singapore, with its strong links to the rest of Asia and its reputation as a global city for events, will serve as a strong springboard for us to launch our plans.”
The academy will be used to help develop local talent with plans to expand the academy to Thailand and China over the next few years.
“One of the key targets of RoSSA is to establish a regional amateur circuit which will both provide opportunities for these talents to compete as well as provide a sizeable prize pool for promising players to continue their development," said CEO Gary Tan.
O'Sullivan will mark the opening of the venue at The Grandstand in Singapore with challenge matches against Zhao, Wongharuthai and Hong Kong's former women's world champion Ng On-yee on 18 June.
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