The world's top four women's snooker players - including Hong Kong's Ng On-yee - are focused on helping to boost the game's popularity in Hong Kong as a number of other sporting events are either postponed of cancelled because of anti-government protests.
Organisers are determined to go ahead with the 16-women Hong Kong World Women's Masters at the General Snooker Club in Lai Chi Kok, which starts on Thursday.
"Yes, the event will go ahead," said General Snooker Club's brand promotion manager Maggie Chung Mei-chi when asked if the tournament was still on.
The Prudential Hong Kong Women's Tennis Open, Hong Kong Formula E race in March and the Hong Kong Squash Open in December are among the events to be called off because of the social unrest that has gripped the city since June.
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It is the first time a world-class women's snooker event is taking place in Hong Kong and follows on from the Hong Kong Billiards & Snooker Control Council's successful staging of the men's Masters in 2017.
The event is headed by world No 1 and 12-time world champion Reanne Evans, Ng, England's Rebecca Kenna and Thai star Nutcharut Wongharuthai, also known as Mink.
Evans, who reclaimed top spot this year from Ng and is visiting Hong Kong for the first time, posted a picture of her luggage on Instagram as she was about to leave England for Hong Kong, saying: "Another day another airport. Hong Kong bound."
For Hong Kong coach Wayne Griffiths, the tournament is all about popularising the sport in Hong Kong and luring more women to play the game.
"Everybody involved in Hong Kong snooker is very excited to see the first ever Hong Kong World Women Masters," said Griffiths
"This promises to be a fantastic showcase for ladies snooker. All the best players will be in Hong Kong. The standard of the ladies' game has improved significantly in the last two to three years and the Hong Kong ladies have played a significant role in that happening.
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"It is widely accepted that there has never been a time in four decades of the ladies' game where the standard has been quite so strong in depth. These are the most skilful and successful players on the planet right now, and I urge anyone with an interest in billiard sports to make some time to support and enjoy the event.
"We are very hopeful that it will attract new young female talent to our sport."
The 16 players are divided into four groups of four with the top two in each pool, after a round-robin, advancing to the quarter-finals.
Ng is in group D with Belgium's Wendy Jans, India's Vidya Pillai and fellow Hongkonger Fong Mei-mei. Evans heads group B that also features Amee Kamani, of India, Thai Ploychompoo Laokiatphon and Hong Kong's Chu Pui-ying.
World No 3 Kenna is in group A with China's Bai Yulu and Hong Kong players Cheung Yee-ting and So Man-yan, while Mink, in group C, faces Laura Evans, of Wales, and Hong Kong's Ho Yee-ki and Jaique Ip Wan-in.
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