FOUR women will compete in this weekend's Golden Cue Open Snooker Tournament in Suva.
Rina Lata (Nausori), Miliana Vocea (Labasa), Talica Vaka (United, Suva) and Noa (Union, Suva) are set to battle against some top guns at the two-day event, starting this Saturday.
Organiser Southern Division Billiards and Snooker Association's president Ravi Narayan said this was the first time in the history of the sport in the country that four women were competing in the open grade.
Narayan said the inclusion of the quartet would boost the level of competition and make the event more exciting.
"It's good to see the interest from the females is growing. It's a good sign for the development of the sport," he said.
"These female players were nominated by their respective clubs to participate in this event."
Narayan said the event would feature 56 players from around the country.
He said they were expecting tough tussles from Fiji's top ranking snooker players.
Narayan said in form Suman Lal was the hot favourite alongside Pritesh Khatri and Praneel Singh.
"We also have brothers Rahil and Sahil Prasad who are capable of producing some upsets along with Riffat Bhatti and Yogendra Prasad," he said.
"Nadi's Mahen Deo is also one of the top contenders."
Dubbed the biggest snooker tournament in the country, the Golden Cue Open will see the winner walking away with $500 cash and the golden cue which is worth $500 as well.
The runner-up of the tournament will receive $250 while semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will receive $100 and $50 respectively with trophies.
Sponsor Export Freight Services (EFS) has contributed $4000 towards the tournament, which will be played at the Fiji Club, Merchants Club, United Club and Defence Club.