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Snooker Players Falls Asleep During Match After COVID Illness


  • A three-time world champion snooker player fell asleep mid-match, then fell to a surprise defeat.
  • Mark Williams nodded off midway through his 6-5 loss to Anthony Hamilton at the UK Championships. 
  • Williams, who caught COVID in October, said he is struggling for energy after getting the illness.

A three-time world champion snooker player fell asleep in his chair during a surprise defeat at a major tournament, blaming his ongoing recovery from COVID for the incident.

Mark Williams nodded off midway through his 6-5 loss to England’s Anthony Hamilton in the second round on Sunday.

“Thirty years as a professional, that’s the first time I’ve ever fell asleep in the chair,” said the 46-year-old, according to BBC Sport.

“It was 3-2 and I was out. My head went down and I woke up and I didn’t have a clue where I was for about five seconds.

“It was a bit embarrassing, but I was just shattered.”

In video from the match, Williams looked visibly tired after returning to his chair after taking his turn midway through the encounter. In footage from broadcaster Eurosport, Williams could be seen opening his eyes wide and blinking as if to try and stay awake.

Going into the UK Championships, Williams, who is ranked number eight in the world, had missed two tournaments after contracting COVID-19 in October.

He suggested his mid-match nap was as a result of the virus’ ongoing side effects, saying he is struggling for energy since catching the illness.

“I need to be playing in the mornings really, or afternoons. The more the day goes on the more tired I get,” he said.

“It’s disappointing but there’s a lot worse people that have had COVID than I’ve had it, so I’m one of the lucky ones really.

“It’s definitely better than what it was a couple of weeks ago so I’ve just got to keep going, but if I play night matches I’m going to really struggle.”

Williams will next play in The Scottish Open, which starts in Llandudno on December 6. 

“It’s only best of seven, so I should be able to stay awake for that one,” he joked.



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