Mark Selby and Luca Brecel meet in the World Championship final (Picture: Getty Images)
Ronnie O’Sullivan has dubbed Mark Selby ‘The Kipchoge of Snooker’ as he is so accustomed to marathon matches, and suggests Luca Brecel will need plenty of luck to beat him in the World Championship final.
Selby is playing in his sixth Crucible final with Brecel taking part in his first, so there is on comparison when it comes to experience over the epic 35-frame distance.
However, the Belgian Bullet may have freshness on his side, having played 10 hours less in match time at the Crucible this year than his final opponent.
O’Sullivan wouldn’t worry about Selby when it comes to that, though, saying he is so used to the long distances that he is snooker’s version of Eliud Kipchoge, the two-time Olympic gold medallist and world record holder in the marathon.
‘I think Selby’s quite used to playing the longer, drawn out matches so he’ll be fine with it,’ O’Sullivan said on Eurosport.
‘If it was the other way round then I’d be a bit concerned because probably Luca wouldn’t have been used to it.
‘But I call him the Kipchoge of Snooker now, he’s the marathon man. He knows how to win over the distance.’
Eliud Kipchoge is arguably the greatest marathon runner ever (Picture: Getty Images)
O’Sullivan pointed out that very few people have got the better of Selby over 33 frames or more, although he did forget that Graeme Dott did so in the 2010 semi-finals, with John Higgins managing it in the 2007 final and the Rocket himself in the 2020 semis.
‘Many people try to come up and compete with him,’ said O’Sullivan. ‘I think it’s only me and Higgins who have beaten him over 33 frames [or more], otherwise he’s won all of his matches, so…good luck Luca.’
MORE : Is Luca Brecel the silver bullet to slay the monster Mark Selby?
MORE : Mark Selby not sure experience counts for much against ‘blasé’ Luca Brecel
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