2024 Q School Latest

Farakh Ajaib, Antoni Kowalski, Mitchell Mann and Chris Totten came through the final round of Q School event two in Leicester to earn two-year cards on the World Snooker Tour.

Former professional Ajaib booked his return to the circuit with a 4-1 victory against talented Ukrainian Iulian Boiko.

The ex butcher from Accrington first became a snooker professional in 2020, when he came through Q School. However, he was relegated in 2023.

Ajaib’s initial stint on the tour was highlighted by a run to the last 16 of the European Masters in 2022. He was denied a famous win over Judd Trump in a deciding frame. The Ace in the Pack needed snookers at 4-4, but got them and and clinched the frame to beat Ajaib 5-4.

A string of near misses for 18-year-old Boiko continues, he was beaten in the final round of both Q School events last year and bowed out in the last 32 of event one this time.

After losing the first frame this morning, 33-year-old Ajaib notched up four on the bounce to score a momentous victory.

Ajaib said: “I’m delighted. I didn’t think I’d get on, but in the end I played quite well. I’ve not put much time in. I just thought I would come here, see how it goes and play the right shots. It is tough playing at Q School. I don’t want to be here ever again.”

Poland’s Kowalski earned his professional status for the first time after a 4-1 defeat of Englishman Simon Blackwell.

Despite prevailing in routine fashion this morning, Kowalski earned his passage to the World Snooker Tour the hard way. The 20-year-old came through a thrilling last 16 clash with James Cahill yesterday evening, winning 4-3 on the final black.

Kowalski also came close to securing his card through his performances on the Q Tour last season. After winning event four, he qualified for the Global Playoffs, but narrowly missed out after a semi-final defeat to Yu Kiu Chang.

Today’s victory sees him follow in the footsteps of Polish compatriots Adam Stefanow and Kacper Filipiak, who have both been professionals in recent years. Breaks of 58, 66 and 64 helped Kowalski to the 4-1 win in just over two hours. Afterwards he was thrilled to have made it to snooker’s biggest stage.

“I am chuffed to bits. I am so delighted to be a professional, finally. I have struggled in the last four years. Despite playing at what I think is a professional level, I couldn’t quite make it. Finally something clicked,” said an ecstatic Kowalski.

“I love playing against players who are better than me. You gain so much experience from it. Hopefully I will meet Ronnie O’Sullivan or Judd Trump in the TV stages of a tournament and hopefully I will beat them.”

Mann clinched his return to the professional ranks with a 4-2 win over Joshua Thomond.

The Englishman is an experienced campaigner on the World Snooker Tour, having competed at the Crucible and reached a ranking event semi-final. He made the last four at the 2017 Paul Hunter Classic, where he lost out to eventual winner Michael White.

Mann dropped off the tour in 2023 and was unsuccessful at last year’s Q School. In the aftermath he gave up the sport, but the 32-year-old decided to return to have another crack at Q School this year. Contributions of 65, 76 and 51 helped him to secure an emotional victory and vindicate that decision.

Mann said: “It is absolutely amazing. If I rewind the clock to 12 months ago, I’d quit the game and got a job. I fell out of love with it and didn’t want to play. Getting a job changed my mind. I realised how good you have it playing on tour. It has all worked out nicely.”

Totten became the final player to graduate Q School with a 4-2 victory against Lewis Ullah. The Scot missed out in the final round of Event One in a decider against Allan Taylor, but held his nerve to secure a second run on the World Snooker Tour having first qualified in 2017.

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