China's Ding Junhui inducted into world snooker Hall of Fame
China's former world number one Ding Junhui was inducted into the world snooker Hall of Fame at the annual World Snooker Awards ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in central London on Thursday.
Ding Junhui plays a shot to Ronnie O'Sullivan of England in the quarterfinal match during the 2018 Ladbrokes Players Championship snooker tournament in Llandudno, Wales, UK, March 21, 2018. [Photo: IC]
Ding, ranked sixth in the world, became the 29th man to receive the honor which was introduced in 2011.
The 31-year-old, who has won 13 ranking events and had a huge influence on the growth of snooker in China over the past 15 years, became the second Asian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after Thailand's Sindhu Pulsirivong, the long-serving president of the Billiard Sports Association of Thailand.
Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), praised Ding as a "great ambassdor" for snooker.
"It is very difficult to comprehend the contribution Ding has made," Ferguson said. "He is a great asset to the sport."
Ding, who won the World Cup with compatriot Liang Wenbo and the World Open this season, said it is a great honor not just for himself but for his country.
"It's amazing to receive this award," he said. "I think this honor belongs to everybody who loves snooker and to the fans and friends who have been behind me over the years. I hope that they can come to share the honor with me."
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn was also inducted into Hall of Fame for his efforts in promoting the sport.
Ronnie O'Sullivan and newly-crowned world champion Mark Williams each won two categories at the annual ceremony.
O'Sullivan took the main Player of the Year award having enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, capturing five ranking titles in a single campaign for the first time. The 42-year-old won the English Open, Shanghai Masters, UK Championship, World Grand Prix and Players Championship.
The five-time world champion also received the Fans' Player of the Year award, voted by many thousands of fans on social media.
Williams, who won the World Championship last Monday for the third time in his career, was handed the Snooker Writers' Player of the Year award, voted by the sport's journalists. And Williams also received the Performance of the Year award for his tremendous display at the Crucible.
The Rookie of the Year category was won by China's 20-year-old Xu Si, whose impressive debut season was highlighted by a run to the semifinals of the Indian Open.
Magic Moment of the Year was won by Michael Georgiou for his dramatic victory at the Coral Shoot Out, beating Graeme Dott to the title with just a few seconds on the clock.