Kyren Wilson Wins First Snooker World Championship

Kyren Wilson claimed his first World Snooker Championship by beating the qualifier Jak Jones 18-14 in the 2024 final. Wilson, aged 32, had controlled the final from the off, winning the first seven frames and leading 17-11 before finally getting over the line on Monday 6 May. The Kettering ace was appearing in his second final, having been well beaten (18-8) by Ronnie O’Sullivan the first time around in 2020.

He has had a tough time over the last couple of years, on and off the table, with poor results no doubt at least partly caused by medical issues his family has had to deal with. As he edged towards victory in what proved to be the decisive frame, he became visibly emotional and after over two weeks of fierce competition it was clear what this win meant to him.

He had long been talked of as a potential world champion but this win was the culmination of a long, long journey. Fulfilling his potential and climbing to the top of the mountain will mean as much, if not more, than the cheque for £500,000 he received as the winner. He has sacrificed so much to achieve his dreams and also spoke of how much help he had received from his family, saying, “My mum and dad have remortgaged and sacrificed their whole lives to get me here”.

He began the tournament ranked number 12 in the world, having previously been as high as fourth. However, his win sees him soar to a career-best number three in the world and he will hope to build on this brilliant victory. Over the 17 days at Sheffield’s Crucible, he was the best player and a worthy winner in a tournament that saw plenty of shocks.

Kyren Wilson’s Route to the Final

Wilson, left
Wilson, left (Credit Benutzer:Bill da Flute via Wikipedia)

As one of the top 16 players in the world, Wilson entered the first round, where he faced Dominic Dale. He was in the top half of the draw, meaning clashes with defending champion Luca Brecel, four-time world champion John Higgins, and new world number one Mark Allen were all possible before he would make the final.

Second Round

Unlike Brecel, who fell at the first hurdle, losing 10-9 to David Gilbert, Wilson made short work of qualifying for the second round. He was superb against Dale, making half-centuries (or better) in nine of the 10 frames he won, and the 52-year-old Welshman had no answer to his scoring.

In the second round the 2020 finalist faced Joe O’Connor, the English world number 30, who was making his debut in the tournament. Again, Wilson played well and won 13-6 to book his spot in the quarter finals. His opponent said, “Kyren was the better player over the sessions and he did deserve to win.” Whilst there was a sense that the victor was beginning to feel confident in his game.

Wilson noted “I always seem to peak for Sheffield… As soon as you get a win here, you feel a part of the tournament.” He added that “Sometimes it is nice to go under the radar” and that is exactly what he had been doing, in large part due to his poor form during the previous 12 months.

Next up was Higgins, who scraped past Allen (then world number four, now number one) 13-12, in a brilliant match in the second round. The Warrior (Wilson’s nickname), was too good for the old warrior, and beat him 13-8, gaining a measure of revenge. 12 months ago Higgins had rolled back the years to humiliate Wilson 13-2 in the second round here and so this victory in 2024 will certainly have meant a little bit more to the Kettering man.


More important than revenge, however, was simply booking a spot in the semis. Wilson had made it to the final four for the first time in 2018 before making the final in 2020. He once again made the semis in 2021, but had lost in the second round on his two previous visits to the Crucible, and so this was a big step forward.

By now the draw, indeed the whole tournament, had really opened up. O’Sullivan had been beaten by Stuart Bingham in the quarters, Judd Trump had lost to Jak Jones at the same stage, whilst other top-10 players Brecel, Ali Carter, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui and Gary Wilson had all been beaten in the first round. Wilson was, by some distance, the highest-ranked player left in the tournament.

World number 31 David Gilbert awaited in the semis and Wilson handled the pressure of now being expected to go all the way with aplomb. He was never in real trouble during the match but really pulled away at the end to win 17-11. The game was 9-9 and Wilson could have panicked but from there he produced his best snooker to win eight of the next 10.

The Final

That saw him into the final against the qualifier Jones, who was ranked 44 in the world at the start of the tournament but is now inside the all-important top 16. Jones’ biggest result was beating Trump but to then see off Bingham in the semis showed real mettle. The Welshman received some stick for his style of play but ultimately his game management and matchplay snooker got him into the final so it would be wrong to question it.

Wilson’s Stats

In the end Wilson’s class and experience would prove too much for Jones but both players can be hugely proud of what they achieved. Here are some key stats and facts about Wilson’s win:

  • Highest Tournament Break – 129
  • World Championship Centuries – 8
  • Tournament Scores of 120 or more – 6 (next best was Gilbert with 5)
  • Centuries in the Final – 4
  • Scores of 60 or More in the Final – 10