Ronnie O’Sullivan inspired by Bruce Lee as he crushes Mark Allen at the Crucible

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Snooker - BetVictor Welsh Open Final - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales - 21/2/16

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action during the final

Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Rebecca Naden


Ronnie O'Sullivan reached his 20th World Championship quarter-final

Ronnie O’Sullivan channelled his inner Bruce Lee in a record-breaking 13-4 thrashing over Mark Allen to reach the World Championship quarter-finals, writes Ben Parsons.

O’Sullivan, 46, surpassed Stephen Hendry’s tally of 70 Crucible victories with the win, as he completely outclassed Northern Ireland’s Allen at the Sheffield theatre.

Allen insisted in the build-up that it's not the ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan Show’ as he looked to take down the Rocket for the second time in the Steel City.

But the box office six-time World Champion was in ominous form and unleashed some of his best snooker to ease past the Antrim potter.

O’Sullivan threatened two maximum breaks and had runs including 131, 96, 93, 88 and 100 in a masterful second round showing.

The second seed took a near unassailable 12-4 lead overnight and needed just 15 minutes to confirm his last-eight spot by claiming a scrappy first frame on Saturday afternoon.

And O’Sullivan revealed after the second round win that his heroes, including iconic film star Lee, are a great source of inspiration in his tilt for a magnificent seventh Crucible crown.

He said: “If you look at Bruce Lee, he trained many, many hours, not just physically but mentally and that’s all we are.

“We are experts at what we do but we’re just in different fields, we aim high.

“A lot of my heroes are people like Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan and Ayrton Senna so I try to approach my sport no differently to them.

“If you can get to that point, you can make it look easy even though it certainly never is.”

Only one significant record eludes O’Sullivan, but he is gathering momentum in his quest to equal legendary Scot Hendry’s total of seven world titles.

O'Sullivan is regarded as the most naturally-gifted player of all-time, but believes hunger and determination reigns over talent at the 17-day Crucible marathon.

“Here it’s not about talent but desire and having a big heart," he said.

“If you look at all the champions over the years: Mark Selby, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, me, John Higgins, Mark Williams - the one thing we have in common is big hearts.

“The great players over the years that haven’t won it are maybe lacking the bottle.”

He added: “The records I’m proud of are the majors and that’s about it really.”

O’Sullivan faces Stephen Maguire in the last eight after the Scot stunned China’s breakthrough star Zhao Xintong with a 13-9 last 16 victory.

He has not lost to Maguire in over a decade and his dominant performances have sent a statement out to an elite field remaining in Sheffield, as he chases a record-equalling seventh world title.

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