YAN BINGTAO and ZHOU YUELONG may have been knocked out in the first round of the BetFred World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield, but they have had a sterling season.
Bingtao, only 17, almost pulled off an incredible win on his debut against the Magician Shaun Murphy when he lost narrowly 10 - 8, but the Chinese teen is now shooting up the rankings and moves into the provisional list at 56 in the World and his compatriot Zhou Yuelong, 19, now is just above the top 30 in 32nd spot.
Their manager at the Sheffield Victoria Snooker Academy, Victoria Shi, wrote on Facebook: "This shows what a great season our resident professionals have had. Zhou Yuelong in top 32 for the first time - after just one season on tour, and all others climbing steadily up the rankings.
Yan Bingtao well in the top 64. With more experience, we are sure they will make more progress next season."
#The Academy in Sheffield is host to a string of professionals and top 16 players who practice their frequently, and the Academy has two top coaches in former 1996 British Open winner Nigel Bond, still competing on the tour at 51, and Ian Glover, a former professional who coaches juniors as well and is available to help budding snooker players improve their skills.
The rankings list comes as Wednesday saw the shock defeat of World number two Judd Trump, who has also had a sterling season, winning two ranking titles, compiling 69 season centuries, make his third career maximum.
WATCH McLeod comment on his fine victory after in the video below...
The waiting game
However, Judd, who was knocked out by Rory McLeod, 46, (the oldest man in the field), will feel disappointed that he didn't progress - as every year he is touted as a favourite, the draw at the World Championships will get a number of great players shining through.
Judd came through in 2011 reaching the final of the Worlds, where he lost to John Higgins.
McLeod, that year had reached the second round of the Championship for the first time, and is in the second round for the second time in his career.
He will play Scotland's Stephen Maguire in the next round.
Xiao Guodong, another Chinese player who is on the up, managed to beat the only Welshman in the tournament, Ryan Day, who was seeded this time as last year he came through the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.
So far, the highest break of the event is a 136 made by China's Ding Junhui, and in 2011, ironically, it was a Ding break under 140 which saw Ding and Mark King collect a cheque of £5,000 each.
This year, the highest break prize is the same.