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China’s Ding becomes first Asian to reach world final

Ding, the world number 17, compiled seven century breaks in the match to set a world championship record

China’s Ding Junhui became the first Asian player to reach the world snooker championship final after beating Scotland’s Alan McManus 17-11 in Sheffield, England on Saturday.

Ding, the world number 17, compiled seven century breaks in the match to set a world championship record and will play England’s world number one Mark Selby in the best of 35-frame final, which starts on Sunday.

Selby beat Marco Fu of Hong Kong 17-15 in a gripping semi-final which included the longest frame in world championship history at the Crucible lasting over 76 minutes.

“I wanted to make the final but I feel normal. The tournament hasn’t finished yet,” Ding told reporters.

“I want to keep focused. Last season and this season, I didn’t play good but in March and April I started to play well.”

Ding, 29, is a former world number one who claimed five ranking titles in 2013-14 to equal the record set by seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry.

The 32-year-old Selby, who won the title in 2014, struggled for form during the match but posted a century break in the final session before seeing off the 38-year-old Fu, who was playing in his second world semi-final and first since 2006.

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