It was the Chester player’s third ranking title, all in China after winning the 2008 Shanghai Masters and 2012 Wuxi Classic. It capped a fine week for Walden, who hammered Robert Milkins 9-2 in his semi-final after previous wins over Lyu Chenwei, David Morris, Zhou Yuelong and giant-killers Joe Swail and Jamie Burnett, who had beaten Neil Robertson and Judd Trump respectively. Press Association Breaks of 59 and 64 helped him into a 3-1 lead at the interval in the first session but Allen levelled after a 113 break in frame six. The next four were shared, Allen with a 52 in frame nine, and though Walden moved two clear with the help of an 85 break in frame 12 Allen responded with 68 and 74 to leave the match poised at 7-7. The Englishman found another gear, though, with an 85 in frame 15 followed by a 103 to move within one frame of victory. And he clinched the frame in two visits, a 54 putting him on top before a 62 saw him capture the £125,000 first prize. Runner-up Allen collected £65,000 towards his world ranking. Walden said: “I couldn’t be happier. It was a tough first session today, and then I got better in the second session. “It’s a dream come true to win this event. All three of my titles have come in China and I love playing here.” He told worldsnooker.com: “I’ve not thought about the money. It was just so important for me to get my hands on the trophy. The money is just a bonus. My wife will find a good place for it.” For Allen, who overcame Mark Williams 9-8 in a thrilling semi-final, it was a third defeat in four ranking finals this season. He won the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth but was beaten at the Riga Open and Shanghai Masters. He said: “I didn’t come here to finish second. I’ll probably look back in a few months’ time and think I’ve had a great start to the season but I’ve lost three out of four finals and that’s not good enough. It’s something I have to work on. “I need to go back to the practice table and keep working. I’m obviously doing the right things as I have got to four finals. I just need to turn them into victories.” Ricky Walden continued his love affair with China as he won the International Championship in Chengdu, beating Mark Allen 10-7 in the final.
The Premier League, English Football League and Football Association say in a joint statement there will be play “only when it is safe to do so.”They say clubs and supporters have a role to play in the meantime “in supporting the government’s guidance and ensuring community strength and solidarity.”The most recent update from soccer authorities said there will be no play until April 30 at the earliest.___A hockey team and a soccer club in Russia face being removed from their leagues after government financial support was diverted to fight the coronavirus. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The governing body for cycling says its world championships will remain as scheduled the final week of September, drawing the ire of some pro teams hoping the calendar would be adjusted to accommodate marquee races that have been postponed. Associated Press April 1, 2020 The Latest: Cycling world championships still on for Sept. The Olympic flame will be on display until the end of April in Japan’s northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.Tokyo Olympic and prefecture officials held an official “handover ceremony”on Wednesday at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima.The public will have limited access to view the flame, and organizers hope to limit the crowd size because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus.The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 20 and the torch relay was to have started last week from Fukushima. The flame has remained in the prefecture with Wednesday’s event merely ceremonial.The Fukushima prefecture is the region of Japan that was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors. The Curtis Cup captains, Sarah Ingram of the U.S. and Elaine Ratcliffe for GB&I, will remain for the 2021 matches. The teams had not been decided. Players were to have been selected later this month.___Soccer fans from two clubs in Belarus say they will stop going to games because of the coronavirus.A leading fan group at Neman Grodno says its members will stop attending games and they have urged supporters for other teams to do the same.The fans have called on the national soccer federation to “draw on some courage and stop the Belarusian championship, as the rest of the world has done.” ___The R&A is postponing three amateur golf championships scheduled for June, including the Curtis Cup.The Curtis Cup was to be played June 12-14 at Conwy Golf Club in Wales. The R&A and USGA say the matches for female amateurs from the U.S. against a team from Britain and Ireland will move to 2021. The dates were not decided.The R&A says the British Amateur and the British Women’s Amateur will move from June to August, but that depends on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.K.The British Amateur had been scheduled for June 15-20 at Royal Birkdale. The British Women’s Amateur was to be played June 23-27 at Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland. Third-division club Uerdingen hopes to virtually sell out its 34,500-capacity Grotenburg Stadium in Krefeld with the offer of souvenir tickets for fans.Tickets start at 5 euros ($5.46) and go all the way to 19.05 euros ($20.80) for VIP tickets. The club says “panic buying for friends and family is definitely allowed.”It’s the only time that Uerdingen will sell tickets for the Grotenburg Stadium this season. Its home arena is being rebuilt so the club has been playing home matches at the ground of nearby Fortuna Düsseldorf.Uerdingen was one of the powerhouses of German soccer in the 1980s with a best finish of third place in the Bundesliga and a run to the semifinals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1986. More recently it has dropped as low as the sixth division.The club hasn’t played a game since March 8 because of the virus outbreak. Officials from the UCI confirmed that its weeklong championships will begin Sept. 20 in Switzerland. It begins with the men’s and women’s time trial, and a midweek mixed team relay would keep riders busy ahead of the road championships the following weekend. That means the entire week is out of the picture for rescheduling other events.Almost the entire spring classics season has been scrapped. That includes races such as Strade Bianche, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. The first of the Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia, has been postponed while the Tour de France hopes to remain in July.___A German soccer club is raising funds amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling tickets for a fictional game. Olympic officials have postponed the Tokyo Games until next year with the opening now set for July 23, 2021.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Fans of Shakhter Soligorsk have also said they will stop going to games “until the epidemiological situation allows us to return to the stands.” But they stopped short of calling for the season to be suspended.Belarus is the only nation in Europe still hosting professional soccer games with fans in the stadium.International players’ union FIFPro says players in Belarus have reached out with concerns about playing during the coronavirus pandemic.___English soccer authorities say there are “no quick answers” to the question of when play can resume following the coronavirus outbreak. The sports ministry in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai says it sees no point in funding player contracts for another season if it’s not clear when competitions will resume. It wants the Admiral Vladivostok hockey club to drop out of the Kontinental Hockey League and the Luch Vladivostok soccer team to drop down two divisions into the amateur leagues.The ministry says regional funding earmarked for professional sports will instead go into an anti-coronavirus fund.Many Russian sports team rely heavily on regional governments and state-owned companies for much of their funding. Primorsky Krai is the first region to impose such drastic cuts.All major sporting events in Russia are currently suspended.___