Muslim snooker player Rory McLeod has sensationally defeated tournament favourite Judd Trump in the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield.
McLeod, 46, beat Trump 10-8 and now goes onto play the Scot Stephen Maguire in the second round.
Trump, the 2011 runner-up, has reached five major finals this season and was full of confidence about his chances of claiming a first Crucible title.
McLeod has only qualified for the World Championship three times in his long career, but his astute matchplay and meticulous approach seemed to disrupt Trump.
“It’s brilliant. I was relaxed at 4-0. He was potting everything. There is not much you can do so you have to bide your time,” McLeod said after the match. “Maybe I went into zombie mode because I didn’t know the score – if it was 4-4 or 5-4. I tried not to think about things too much. You have to dismiss the pressure.”
McLeod became Muslim around 2000 and lives in Leicester. He splits his time between there and Qatar, where he coaches their national snooker team. McLeod has reached the last 16 of five ranking tournaments.
McLoaed is the only black professional snooker player and the first to qualify for the World Championship. But now his religion is increasingly the talking point. In an interview with Vice, he declared himself “a Muslim first, then a family man, then a snooker player.”
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