Name: Jin Long
DOB: 23rd May 1981
Turned Pro: 2002
Highest Ranking: #60 (2009/10)
Highest Break: 125 (2008 Masters Qualifiers)
Career Highlights: 2005 & 2008 Asian Champion, 2012 Haikou World Open last 16, 2012 China Open last 32, 2004 & 2008 Grand Prix last 48, 2008 UK Championship last 64, 2009 World Championship last 64
Jin’s first spell on the main tour came in 2002/3 following strong runs to the finals of the Asian and Chinese Championships during the previous season. Only able to finish as high as 117th in the rankings however, he was to suffer immediate relegation to the secondary Challenge Tour.
A run to the final of event four in 2003/4 helped him to reclaim his main tour place at the first attempt however, and his second season was to be slightly more successful as he made it to the last 48 of the Grand Prix before coming unstuck against Malta’s Tony Drago.
Though his other results were poor, leaving him down in 118th place, victory in the Asian Championship with a 6-4 win over Cai Jianzhong ensured that he would remain on the tour for another season. His form did not improve in the ranking events however and he lost all his matches to finish 94th and bottom of the professional list.
After another couple of years away, he regained his place for a fourth time with victory against another current tour player, India’s Aditya Mehta, in the final of the 2008 Asian Championship.
Having struggled previously on the tour, his 2008/9 was to be a significant improvement as Jin won 13 matches, including all but one of his first round ties. At the time he attributed his improved form down to him now being used to the tables used on the professional tour, as well as being comfortable living in Sheffield with the other Chinese players and the excellent facilities at the English Institute for Sport.
His best run came at the Grand Prix where he defeated Lee Spick, Robert Milkins and Gerard Greene to again reach the last 48, before being whitewashed by Stoke’s Dave Harold. Strong results also came in the UK and World Championships as he reached the third round in both, securing a large amount of ranking points in the process.
As a result of this he managed not only to do enough to stay on the tour via the one-year list, but was able to move up into the top 64 in 60th place and ensure that in 2009/10 he would have one less qualifying match to negotiate.
Unfortunately for Jin however he was to endure a nightmare 2009/10 season, losing his opening match in five of the six ranking tournaments staged.
Jin at the 2010 Shanghai Masters
Although he was able to get himself off the mark at the season-ending World Championship, defeat to Rory McLeod in the third round was to see his stay on the tour ended for a fourth time.
Competing during main tour events as a wildcard, Jin proved to be a force at the Haikou World Open with victories against Sam Baird and then Ding Junhui seeing him into the last 16, where he would lose 5-2 to Robert Milkins.
The wildcard again caused a shock at the subsequent China Open with a 5-4 victory against Fergal O’Brien, before losing to Mark Williams at the last 32 stage.