UK Q School snooker 2024 concludes as four players earn professional tour cards

Poland's Antoni Kowalski wins promotion to the World Snooker Tour for the first time. Credit: World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA)Poland's Antoni Kowalski wins promotion to the World Snooker Tour for the first time. Credit: World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA)
Poland's Antoni Kowalski wins promotion to the World Snooker Tour for the first time. Credit: World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) | World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA)
Four players representing four different nations graduated from the second and final 2024 UK Q School event on Saturday at the Mattioli Arena in Leicester.

Antoni Kowalski will join the professional circuit for the first time, while Farakh Ajaib, Mitchell Mann and Chris Totten all return to snooker’s top tier following absences from it.

Polish youngster Kowalski realises his dream of competing on the World Snooker Tour after making breaks of 58, 66 and 64 in a 4-1 final round win over Simon Blackwell.

In the penultimate round, the 20-year-old ousted former pro James Cahill in dramatic circumstances; claiming the tie on the final black ball in the deciding frame having watched his opponent battle back from 3-0 down.

Kowalski is the reigning three-time Polish national champion and was world under-16 champion in 2019. He won a Q Tour event earlier this season and a few months ago narrowly missed out on a tour card when he lost 5-3 to Liam Davies in the EBSA European Under-21 Championship in Bosnia. However, he can now look forward to his professional bow in the coming weeks.

33-year-old Ajaib is back on tour after graduating from the system for the second time.

The Pakistani cueist initially earned promotion via it in 2020, but after a couple of difficult seasons as a pro he was subsequently relegated. Since then, he has competed as an amateur, and as a top-up at the 2022 European Masters, he memorably nearly defeated Judd Trump in the last 16 in Germany, agonisingly losing in a deciding frame.

Ajaib dropped only eight frames during his six match wins in the event, securing qualification with a 4-1 victory against Iulian Boiko having gone a frame down.

England’s Mann is back in the big time for a third stint after a season’s hiatus following a 4-2 qualification round triumph against Josh Thomond. Mann registered runs of 65, 76 and 51.

The 32-year-old - who lost his opening match in event one - first made the pro scene in 2014 following victory at the European Amateur Championship. It is the second time Mann has passed Q School having gone up through the order of merit method in 2021.

Scotsman Totten was the final winner from this year’s installment as he defeated Lewis Ullah 4-2 in a contest that lasted nearly five hours.

The 25-year-old was a familiar face on the 2023/24 Q Tour on which he reached an event semi-final and qualified for the playoffs. Only a few weeks ago, the 2017 European under-21 champion won his third Scottish national championship title.

In his final assignment in Leicester, Totten - who went 3-0 up - survived a rally from his opponent to put his name on the upcoming 2024/25 season professional player roster.

At event one last week, Totten reached the final round but was denied by Allan Taylor in a deciding frame. This was the perfect response to that heartbreak.

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