Teenager Iulian Boiko saw his bid to reach the World Championship end in the first qualifying round with a 6-3 defeat by Thor Chuan Leong.

The 14-year-old Ukrainian is the youngest player to have competed in the qualifiers, which are being held behind closed doors at the English Institute Of Sport in Sheffield.

Malaysia player Thor, 32, dominated the opening session and led 3-1 at the interval.

Boiko, though, edged a tense fifth frame to reduce the deficit before the amateur potter then levelled the match at 3-3.

However, it was world number 100 Thor who went on to wrap up victory, clinched with another half-century break, as he moved into the second of four qualifying rounds.

Elsewhere during Wednesday’s afternoon matches, Norfolk player Barry Pinches, once in the world top 20, coasted past Dean Young 6-0 and Northern Ireland’s Gerard Greene saw off Brian Ochoiski 6-1.

The main draw is scheduled to start on July 31 at the Crucible, with the high-profile championships one of a select number of sporting events which will pilot the safe return of spectators after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.


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