Saengkham takes U-21 Prize

Congratulations to Thai youngster Noppon Saengkham who has today taken the IBSF World Under-21 Championship in Iran following a thrilling 9-8 victory over Iran’s Soheil Vahedi…

Although the event contained a much depleted field due to the current difficulties over in Iran, there was still a tour place up for grabs and both finalists clearly gave their all in an attempt to take the title. Early on it was Noppon Saengham who made the running, eventually moving 8-4 ahead and needing just one more frame for victory. Full credit to Soheil Vahedi though because for a seemingly impossible position, he recovered to take the next four frames and force a decider.

Ultimately however it was Saengkham who managed to hang on and take a notable win, one that should see him on snooker’s main tour next season for the first time. Having also come through a tight match against former professional and tournament favourite Liu Chuang in the semi-finals, it is hard to say that he does not deserve it.

So what do we know about Saengkham? I must confess it is not too much, although he did come close to a tour spot this year as he reached the final of the Asian Under-21 Championship back in April, only to lose out to China’s Anda Zhang.

Perhaps having qualified for the main tour so early he will follow the example of countryman Thepchaiya un-Nooh and sign up for some of the PIOS events later this season.