Igor Figueiredo wins the 2024 World Seniors Snooker Championship

Credit: Andy ChubbCredit: Andy Chubb
Credit: Andy Chubb
Brazilian Igor Figueiredo defeated Ken Doherty 5-2 in the final at the Crucible Theatre to win the 2024 World Seniors Snooker Championship.

The 46-year-old becomes the first player from outside of Europe to claim the blue riband event on the seniors circuit. On top of a first prize of £20,000, victory also assures him a place at the Champion of Champions professional event later in the year.

A semi-finalist here on his only other world seniors championship appearance in 2021 - when the event was played behind closed doors due to Covid - Figueiredo returned to Sheffield this year by virtue of reclaiming the Pan American Seniors Snooker Championship last October on home soil.

Figueiredo dropped only two frames in three matches en route to the final. He dispatched World Women's Seniors Champion Tessa Davidson 3-1 in round one before dethroning defending champion Jimmy White 3-0 in the quarter-finals. In the last four, Figueiredo produced a powerful spell of scoring, crafting breaks of 57, 110 and 119 in the final three frames to deny Tony Drago, 4-1.

In the opposite corner for the title match was 54-year-old Doherty, who was trying to create snooker history by becoming the first player to win the world under-21, amateur, professional and seniors championships. Having battled hard and recovered from going behind in his opening two matches, Doherty was more comfortable as he saw off Barry Pinches 4-1 in the semi-finals.

The contest between Figueiredo and Doherty represented their second meeting in a World Seniors Snooker Tour final; back in 2019 at the Bonus Arena in Hull, Doherty claimed the UK Seniors Championship title following a 4-1 win.

It was the popular Irishman - playing in his second World Seniors Snooker Championship final - who got off to a brilliant start by compiling a break of exactly 100 to claim the opening frame, but Figueiredo replied strongly as efforts of 72 and 93 helped him take three consecutive frames to go into the mid-session interval 3-1 up.

On resumption, it looked like six-time professional ranking event winner Doherty was going to close the gap, but within a few pots of doing so, he unexpectedly missed a red. Figueiredo went about an impressive counter clearance but he missed the final green off its spot when in a very good position. Fortunately for the South American, though, he obscured the green, and when Doherty played a swerve to try and pot it, he failed and left Figueiredo with a golden opportunity which he converted.

Despite that let-off for Figueiredo, it appeared that the magnitude of the occasion may have been getting to him as he was unable to take a match-winning opportunity in frame six after Doherty botched a red whilst on a break of 56. The Dubliner constructed a further run of 50 as he reduced his deficit.

However, after a few more nervy moments in frame seven, Figueiredo managed to steady himself and produce an 88 break to win the title and record his best achievement in the sport.

A former world amateur championship finalist in 2009, Figueiredo spent several years on the professional circuit before relinquishing his tour card a few years ago due to financial issues competing on the scene.

With his performances this week, though, it looks likely that he would still be able to mix it on the sport’s top tier should he decide to have another go.