World championship debut for ten-year-old Jasmine

WOKING’S pint-sized potter Jasmine Bolsover was a shock qualifier for the knockout stage at the women’s world snooker championships.

The ten-year-old, who made her Cuestars debut in the Bronze Tour event in Swindon in April, left Cambridge with the praise of some of the world’s greatest women players ringing in her ears.

World number two Maria Catalano, cousin of Ronnie O’Sullivan, said: “She’s incredible. Her cue action’s better than mine!”
It was a debut world championship for Jasmine, who joined the World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association circuit two months ago.
In her first three round-robin group matches, she defeated Joanne Davies, from Derby, 2-1; Naomi Clare, from Ripley, Derbys, 3-0 and lost 3-0 to world No 13 Vicky Ashby, from Hemel Hempstead.
She qualified for the knockout after a sensational 2-1 win over Yu Ching Ching, from Hong Kong.
However, her last-16 opponent, world number three Emma Bonney, from Portsmouth, was not about to make any concessions to Bolsover’s tender age. The 33-year-old ran out a 3-0 winner.
Emma, who competes on the Cuestars South of England Championship Tour, said: “When I came up here, I’d heard that she did well getting through the qualifiers.
“Obviously, there’s a bit of pressure playing a ten-year-old. I just played as I would play anyone else. I didn’t really give her much chance in the first two frames.
“Her height is a bit of a disadvantage at the moment. She can barely reach to put the balls back on their spots; she has to use her cue.
“She shows a lot of promise for someone who’s only ten. Give her a couple of years and she should be quite a good player.”
Jasmine also forced 13-year-old England international Hannah Jones to lift her game in the junior final.
World Ladies Junior finalists Jasmine Bolsover (left) and three-time champion Hannah Jones
Hannah, from Derby, who clinched a hat-trick of junior titles with a 2-0 victory, said: “I was very pleased to win it. Before the match, I thought Jasmine was going to win because her potting was amazing.
“I played at a level higher because I was determined to win.
And Hannah revealed she sees a lot of herself in Jasmine at that age.
“I didn’t know as much safety as she does,” she said. “I can see her having a very bright future. She’s a very good player.”
Jasmine was introduced to a small table at the age of six by her snooker-loving dad and coach Gavin. They now have a full-sized table at their home.
Jasmine, who attends St Hugh of Lincoln Primary School, competes in the junior league at Woking Snooker Centre. She has a high break of 30.
Gavin said: “She loves the game; she’s interested in it.
“She wanted to do more so we started looking into the women’s game and it progressed from there.
“As long as she enjoys it, we’ll do what she wants to do. We’re trying not to put too much pressure on her by doing too much.
“Sometimes she loses a bit of concentration which is understandable for her age.
Jasmine said her ambition is “to keep on playing well and improve”, although she did also admit, when pushed, that she wouldn’t mind becoming world champion one day.
In the Plate competition for non-qualifiers and last-16 losers, Jasmine, now provisionally ranked 22nd on the WLBSA circuit, beat Laura Alves, 44, from Dublin, 2-1 but went out 2-0 to Ashby, 27, in the quarter-finals.
Pictures by Monique Limbos