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World Snooker Championship: Anthony Hamilton withdraws over health fears

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Anthony Hamilton

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ByEurosport
30/07/2020 at 13:56 | Updated 30/07/2020 at 14:56

Anthony Hamilton has withdrawn from the World Snooker Championship due to health fears – despite qualifying just three days ago.

The 49-year-old, who has asthma, had previously cited Covid-19 concerns as the Crucible prepares to welcome a limited audience to the rescheduled worlds.

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"Let’s say one person gets ill and dies from the Crucible – it’s one person who died for no reason at all, just for entertainment," the 49-year-old warned on Tuesday. "I think it’s ridiculous."

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The UK Government are using snooker’s flagship event to pilot the return of indoor crowds amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event starts LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player on Friday, with Hamilton’s opponent Kyren Wilson receiving a bye into the second round.

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World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn questioned the timing of Hamilton’s decision.

"Anthony Hamilton withdrew yesterday having gone through the qualifying competition and decided last night that he's going to withdraw from the World Snooker Championships because he's got asthma and he is worried about his own health," Hearn told talkSPORT.

"Understandable, not a problem. The question I pose is why did he now withdraw before the qualifying competition because by getting through the qualifiers he has effectively stopped someone else from going and earning a living.

"He entered a competition knowing while he was in that competition he knew there was going to be fans present."

Hamilton is a four-time quarter-finalist, and reached the main draw for the first time in 12 years when beating Scott Donaldson 10-5 in the final qualifying round on Monday.

Racing at Goodwood and county cricket at The Oval have also welcomed limited fans back.

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