Barbican’s ‘creaksville’ staircase tests focus of victorious King

Mark King

Mark King

First published in Sport

THE days of Mark King wanting to “kill” someone for interrupting him during a shot are long gone, but the conqueror of two-time champion Mark Williams is still having to work hard to keep his focus.

The Romford potter, who plays teenager Luca Brecel in the second round, was distracted several times during his 6-3 victory by spectators moving up and down the stairs in the Barbican auditorium.

“When the other table finished and they were coming down the steps it was creaksville,” he explained. “It does put you off and sometimes you either have to wait or just carry on.

“It just didn’t stop. Maybe what they (authorities) should try and do is, when they are waiting to come down, just leave them at the top until the frame has ended and then all come down. And some people are so stupid. They don’t think ‘well, I’ll stay there’. It’s ‘I’ve got a beer in my hand, let’s get down as quick as I can’.

“You have got to expect that sometimes and that’s why I got up a few times and I waited. Before, in the past, I’ve got down to hit a shot and then wanted to kill the geezer or the woman walking down the steps.”

His win over Williams a first step on the road back into the top 16, King, who has reached two ranking finals in his career, said he sees no reason why he can’t fight his way back into the game’s elite.

“I have dropped to number 32 and it’s only really the ranking system that has pushed me out.” added King.

“When you have to protect so many points, if you don’t quite hit them (you drop down). No disrespect to them, but some of the people that are in the top 16 now – when that system changed over and they weren’t playing well two years before – all of a sudden they win a match and they just rocket through.

“That’s just tough on me. Over the years it will obviously pan out. I’ve only myself to blame. I haven’t done well enough to hold my position in the top 16 for a while.”

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