Opening Day at the Kappa 2009 Women’s World 9-Ball Championship
Our first day at the Kappa 2009 Women’s World 9-Ball Championships began with a press conference. Local officials welcomed the players to the tournament. A briefing was given on the number of players (64) and the qualifying stages and an explanation of when the players meeting and draw would be held. Sponsors were recognized and thanked for their contribution to the event. We were also informed as to the massive participation of the Chinese media in this event with newspapers, magazines, television and radio all participating in the coverage.
In addition to the large staff responsible for carrying out the event, it was also announced that 40 volunteers were chosen to assist in these efforts. After the government officials made their welcomes the General Manager of our title sponsor, Kappa Sportswear, also made a welcoming address and spoke of how pleased they were to be associated with such a prestigious undertaking.
WPA President Ian Anderson then expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in the event and his pleasure that the event has been presented in a first-class order. He specifically thanked everyone for the skill of the referees, the quality of the equipment and the beauty of the venue. He also spoke of how he looked forward to returning to Shengyeng next year.
Next was the player’s meeting. The head referee took the floor first and explained the format of the event. He explained that there would be 8 players seeded into the eight initial groups. These players, chosen by their WPA rank, will be joined by 7 other players in each group and the 8 groups will play a double-elimination format to get down to the final 32. Two losers and two winners from each group of eight will pass through to the final stage. These 32 players will then play a standard single-elimination tournament to determine our champion. All of the rules were explained in detail so that there could be no question as to how the event would be run.
Then it was off to the grand welcoming banquet. 250 players and honored guests were feted to a massive 20-course meal that left no appetite unsatisfied. Gymnasts entertained the crowd as they ate. It must be said, this was a magnificent opening to what portends to be an event that will be difficult for others to match.