World pool champions crowned in Blackpool

Champion Sabrilla Brunet
Champion Sabrilla Brunet
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Shaun Chipperfield and Sabrilla Brunet are the new king and queen of 8-ball pool after winning their singles titles at the Hotel Collection World Championships at Blackpool’s Imperial Hotel last night.

Norwich postman Chipperfield beat Suffolk rival and great pa Karl Sutton 11-4.

Brunet, 33, defeated defending champion Amy Beauchamp, 8-4 to become the first French player to lift the trophy in its 24-year history.

Australia’s men became world team champions for the first time since 1996, beating Republic of Ireland 8-6.

But Blackpool belonged to qualifier Chipperfield, who raced round the table to claim a £6,000 first prize in little over an hour.

“World champion? It doesn’t sound quite right,” smiled unseeded Chipperfield, who won a total of nine games at the main venue.

“I have to pinch myself because I went into a couple of qualifying tournaments just to get here and didn’t make the cut,” he said, “but I tried a third time and got through.”

His next big appointment is for a mate’s stag do in Barcelona. “Fortunately, the cheque won’t have cashed in time,” he laughed.

Sutton, also 28, failed to become only the second player to hold European and World titles at the same time, having defeated defending champion Mick Hill in the quarter-finals and 2009 champion Phil Harrison, in the semis

Lowestoft-based Hill said: “Me and Shaun are good friends but I tried to treat it like any other game. Unfortunately, a couple of frames got away and instead of looking at 4-all I was 6-2 down.

“Shaun is a great front runner anyway and was full of confidence. Had I been able to put him under any pressure it might have been a different story.”

Chipperfield becomes the 16th men’s winner since the first World Championship in Manchester in 1993.

Brunet, from Lens, is only the eighth player to lift the women’s trophy.