Zhou Yuelong is Snooker's shining prospect as he has shot up the rankings in the last few seasons from 75th to now 26th. The Chinese teenager, 19, potted his way to his first ranking semi-final in Lommel in Belgium in the European Masters where he faced the former World Champion Stuart Bingham.

He was no slouch as the talented teen held his own against the 2015 World Snooker Champion, also on a good run of form himself. Zhou's semi-final run in Lommel earnt him a windfall of £17,500 and a shot closer at entering the top 16.

It's a remarkable story - and another example of how the Barry Hearn era of snooker is turning out.

If you are good enough, willing to work hard and earn your stripes, then the rewards are there.

Watch Zhou Make a 138

Zhou is a determined character who put on a magnificent show in Lommel against Anthony McGill in the quarter-finals as he racked two tons to seal a 4 - 0 whitewash.

It's a different story to his friend and Chinese counterpart Yan Bingtao though (at the moment).

Friends and rivals

The 17-year-old, whilst with lots of talent has yet to enter his first ranking semi-final and is currently 56th in the rankings.

His best to date is the 2017 German Masters ranking quarter-final. Cao Yupeng, who was another Chinese player to go a fair distance in Lommel to the semis, is in 70th in the rankings, but the good run in Lommel is set to give 26-year-old Yupeng a renewed confidence for the rest of the season.

Yuelong, from Chengdu, has, to date, according to CueTracker, earnt an incredible total career earnings so far of £202,208.

In the 2016/17 season, he earnt a modest £80, 000 + - quite a feat for an 18-year-old in that season.

So far this season, the Chinese teen has earnt £38,500. Currently, he has 43-century breaks and his highest is 141. Zhou was, of course, a winner in 2015 at the World Cup snooker in China as a pairing with Yan Bingtao as China B team, and at this year's World Cup reached the semi-finals as China B.

He practices hard at the great Victoria Snooker Academy in Sheffield, and from the Twitter feed is always there early, along with the other dedicated Chinese young guns.

Although the Chinese players are rivals on a snooker table, they are great friends off it. And, the success is down the great playing facilities at the Academy - top class coaching from the likes of Nigel Bond a former ranking event winner and Ian Glover, a Deputy Head Coach.

Zhou is the model sportsperson. Talented. Determined. Dedicated. Hardworking. With success coming quick, it is only a matter of time before he picks up a ranking win.

In 2013, Zhou won the IBSF World Snooker Championship, which managed to book him a place on the World Snooker Tour for the 2014/15 season.

The Shanghai Masters qualifiers begin today, an event that has had much controversy in the past few weeks for the fact of whether it was going to be held or not. Zhou's qualifying round begins with facing 23-year-old Scot Scott Donaldson on Friday, according to snooker.org.

Last season, Donaldson got to his first ranking semi-final at the Welsh Open. The Shanghai Qualifiers are being played at the Robin Park Arena and Sports Centre in Wigan from today till Friday.