Ronnie O'Sullivan claims another world title

STEVE DOUGLAS
Last updated 08:40 07/05/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Jonathan Milne: Our athletes who trained so hard are the losers in these disintegrating Olympic Games Former NFL player, wife allegedly murdered by teenage son First Crossfit Nationals hosted in New Zealand New dawn for Cannons Creek Boxing Academy as first female coach weighs in What's troubling athletes arriving in Rio? No 'Pokemon Go' Russian weightlifters barred from Rio Olympic games Kiwi star Mark Hunt might quit UFC due to performance-enhancing drugs New Zealand's Golden Olympic moments: Yvette Williams in Helsinki 1952 Junior Black Sox in medal contention at world junior softball champs National boxing champion and rugby rep Sam Watt faces critical career choice

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the world championship snooker title for a fifth time today, beating fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins 18-12 in his first tournament since returning from a long sabbatical from the sport.

O'Sullivan added to his victories at the Crucible Theatre in 2001, '04, '08 and last year, and became the first player to successfully defend the title since Stephen Hendry in 1996.

This was arguably O'Sullivan's biggest achievement, though, having spent the past year out of the game to deal with personal issues. He only announced in February that he'd be defending his title.

"My main motive wasn't to come here and win it, it's just I was so bored, sitting on the sidelines and nothing going on," said O'Sullivan, the most naturally talented player the game has seen. "I thought I could do with something to keep me busy for the next six weeks, preparing for the worlds.

"It's filled a nice gap of eight weeks - I've got to keep busy now otherwise I'll implode. It's been great to just get something back in my life."

Only Hendry (seven), Steve Davis and Ray Reardon (both with six) have won snooker's top prize more times than O'Sullivan, who has never lost a final.

O'Sullivan, who battles depression and has been helped by the work of renowned sports psychologist Dr. Steve Peters for his last two world titles, didn't say whether he would be returning to play next season.

"I want to balance it (snooker) with other stuff," he said. "I realize that in the year out, I didn't miss snooker. I just missed having something to do. If I can balance it with other things, that's the way forward.

"You feel trapped sometimes when it's just snooker, snooker, snooker. I'm not good at dealing with all the emotions that come with it."

The 13th-ranked Hawkins was playing in his first world final and led 3-2 at one point - the only time O'Sullivan trailed to an opponent in the whole tournament. O'Sullivan never lost an eight-frame session.

"That's the hardest anyone has ever pushed me - I was just hanging on in there," said O'Sullivan, who hit six century breaks in the final.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content