Snooker welcomes back spectators as World Championship begins

The venue was set to be at 33 per cent capacity for the first round.
Snooker welcomes back spectators as World Championship begins

By PA Sport Staff

Spectators returned to snooker on Saturday morning as Ronnie O’Sullivan started the defence of his World Championship crown at the Crucible in Sheffield, England.

As one of the UK’s pilot events, which are being used to help sport out of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the venue opened its doors to fans again.

Six-time world champion O’Sullivan was taking on Mark Joyce in the first session of the tournament, with Martin Gould playing Yan Bingtao on the other table.

All four players walked to the table to applause from the crowd, which was set to be at 33 per cent capacity for the first round.

With sanitiser stations provided around the venue, fans had their tickets scanned before sitting in designated seats socially distanced.

World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn tweeted: “Here we go! Blood sweat and tears but after all the problems and setbacks we are on the brink of a return to normality thanks to the unbelievable efforts of the @WeAreWST team.

“My thanks to everyone involved. Now sit back and enjoy the greatest snooker show on earth.”

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