Tabb to referee world championship final

Michaela Tabb will become the first woman to referee the biggest match in snooker when she takes charge of the World Snooker Championship final on May 3 and 4.

Eurosport

Tabb has already officiated two ranking finals, the 2007 Welsh Open and the 2009 China Open, as well as the 2008 Masters final, and will now don the white gloves for the climactic match at the Crucible in Sheffield.

The 41-year-old from Dunfermline said: "When I started out, I couldn't possibly have imagined that I'd come this far.

"My only ambition was to be a good referee. It was only after I'd been on the circuit for around three years, when I realised I had the ability, that I felt had the potential to get this far.

"I will be nervous - the only thing I can liken it to is when I first refereed at the Crucible (in 2003) as that was a big step.

"The worst time for me will be after I set the balls up before the final - after that there's a wait of about 40 minutes until the match starts. It will seem like the longest 40 minutes of my life and there will be butterflies. After the first frame I'll be fine as the big occasion brings the best out of me.

"I'm glad that I wasn't pushed too fast by World Snooker in my first few years as a referee. In hindsight I can see that was the right thing to do. I've proved myself now and I've got the experience.

"I've been chosen to do the world final because of my standard of refereeing, and not just because I'm a woman. That's what I keep telling myself - I wouldn't be going out there if I wasn't considered ready for it."

Tabb recognises that she has become a role model for aspiring female officials in snooker - and other sports.

"I meet women all over the world who say that what I have done has opened up doors for them, so that's a great source of pride for me " she said. "This is a big step in my journey but also for women officials everywhere."

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