Ricky Walden has been running between six and ten miles a day of late in an attempt to be fit for his Wembley Masters debut tonight.

This is impressive, not least because it's been so cold in the UK that he's done well to get out of bed, never mind hit the streets.

Snooker is not a physical sport but it does require huge reserves of stamina and on the principle of healthy body, healthy mind Ricky's running regime may well give him an edge.

Ronnie O'Sullivan runs 50 miles a week and often turns out for his local running team. It's easy the forget that in his youth he was rather chubby. Not any more. He's as fit as any snooker player has ever been - or is ever likely to be.

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis are both gym regulars and several other players try to stay as healthy as they can.

Here's a question: if you lined up the 18 players in this year's Masters for a 1 mile race, who would win?

O'Sullivan, almost certainly, although the likes of Walden, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Judd Trump would probably also do well.

Graeme Dott is whippet-like so may be a dark horse while Mark King and Peter Ebdon have always taken fitness seriously so would be worth watching.

Ryan Day regularly trains with a football team so a Welsh victory couldn't be ruled out.

(I'm warming to this idea. I might suggest it to the BBC.)

Ricky is one of three players making their Wembley debuts this week, the others being Mark Allen and Trump, who play each other tomorrow.

This brings the total number of players to have competed in the Masters since it began in 1975 to 79.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic crowds so early in the tournament - maybe the WSA should put more effort into getting another tournament in London rather than wasting time and money in Dubai......

Anonymous said...

They should move the world championships to London.

Anonymous said...

The atmosphere at Wembley is fantastic, why not a ranking tournament Dave? Has there ever been one? To fill a much bigger venue than Sheffield on the first day is amazing.

Geoff Brooking said...

Wasn't there a tournament in Croydon once.

I suppose you could class Croydon as Surrey in a way but it is officially a Borough of London.

Claus Christensen said...

I think this is so very important. Stage the events where the crowd will show up.

Anonymous said...

Big crowds? There were no end of empty seats for the selby and walden match.

Anonymous said...

Big crowds??

Maybe most of the spectators have come disguised as empty seats?