World Snooker: Five Chinese players earn two-year tour cards

Yan Bingtao
Yan Bingtao was just 15 years old when he won the 2015 Snooker World Cup for China alongside team-mate Zhou Yuelong

Five Chinese players have earned two-year cards to compete on the main snooker tour from the 2016-17 season.

Yan Bingtao, 16, could not take up his card last year because of visa issues, while Zhao Xintong, 19, was runner-up in the 2015 World Amateur Championship.

Cao Yupeng, 25, and Chen Zhe, 23, and Fang Xiongman, 23, all came though six rounds of matches in Q School.

Last month, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said half of the top 16 in the world will be from China one day.

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: "Chinese players continue to be a strong force in snooker and this is further evidence of the rising young talent fighting for a place on the World Snooker tour."

Earlier this month, Ding Junhui became the first Chinese player to play in the World Championship final at the Crucible, losing 18-14 to Mark Selby. The tournament was watched by a television audience of 210 million in China.

The only Englishman to earn a tour card for next season from the Q School's first event one was 23-year-old Christopher Keogan from Doncaster.

England's John Astley, 27, Welshman David John, 31, Malta's Alex Borg, 46, and 28-year-old Cypriot Michael Georgiou all progressed through Q School's second event.

Englishmen Craig Steadman, 31, Jamie Barrett, 32 and Adam Duffy, 28, and Wales' 33-year-old Ian Preece all earned two-year tour cards through the Q School order of merit.