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O'Sullivan lets spectator take shot after she runs around table

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Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan let a spectator who evaded security and ran around the table take his last shot as he won in the third round at the English Open.

The woman entered the playing arena at the Barnsley Metrodome as five-time world champion O’Sullivan was about to seal a 4-1 win over China’s Zhang Yong.

He carried on playing to pot the pink ball – leaving him on a 129 break – then handed his cue to the spectator.

She had two attempts at sinking the black before being led away.

“I really wanted her to pot it,” O’Sullivan said.

The 41-year-old, who had earlier made breaks of 126 and 127, added: “I didn’t know what to do at first and she just said: ‘I’m just having a jog, I’m just going for a jog.’

“And I was like: ‘Go on then, carry on then, there’s your jog, have a shot as well while you’re at it.’

“I thought when the [security] guys came out they were going to rugby tackle her, but I thought, ‘If you do that, you might kill her.'”

“I saved her from getting a rugby tackle,” he told Eurosport.

O’Sullivan, who has been given permission to play in trainers after injuring an ankle, beat John Higgins 4-3 in the fourth round later on Thursday.

Elsewhere, world champion Mark Selby lost 4-1 to Xiao Guodong of China while former two-time world champion Mark Williams lost 4-2 to world number 55 Jack Lisowski

The English Open is the first of four Home Nations events, with a £1m bonus on offer if a player wins all four tournaments.

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BBC Sport – Snooker