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Tournament Coverage

by Mike Mazek Jul 16, 2001, 5:27 PM EST

The 2001 Admiral World Pool Championship in Cardiff, Wales, got off to a slow start for defending champion and newly crowned International Challenge of Champions winner Fong-Pang Chao, and now the Taiwanese 9-ball star is close to missing the next round. Despite winning two of his first three matches after claiming the winner-take-all $50,000 prize at the Challenge of Champions in Uncasville, Conn., on Thursday, Chao finds himself at the bottom of a three-way tie for the last two spots in Group 1, thanks to the scorching starts by group leader Quentin Hann (4-0) of Australia and Englandís Chris Melling (3-0). In Mondayís action, Chao is scheduled take on Brazilís Fabio Luersen and Brit Andy Battams.

Other notable players on the bubble after the first two days of play include Rodolfo Luat (1-2), George SanSouci (1-3), Kim Davenport (2-2), Allen Hopkins (1-3), Jon Kucharo (1-3) and Luc Salvas (1-3).

Betting favorite Earl Strickland (3-0) went undefeated through the first two days, as did Charlie Williams (4-0), Marcus Chamat (3-0), Hao-Ping Chang (3-0), Dmitri Jungo (3-0), Radoslaw Babica (4-0), Efren Reyes (4-0),Young-hwa Jeong (3-0), Ralf Souquet (4-0), Steve Knight (3-0), Johnny Archer (4-0), Chia-hsiung Lai (3-0), Lee Tucker (4-0), Thomas Engert (3-0), Nick Vandenberg (3-0) and Leonardo Andam (3-0).

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