• UK Championship

Robertson goes vegan ahead of UK Championship defence

ESPN staff
November 25, 2014
Neil Robertson kicks off the defence of his title on Thursday © Getty Images

Neil Robertson has revealed he has adopted an entirely plant-based vegan diet ahead of the defence of his UK Championship crown.

The World No.2 along with his Australian compatriot and housemate Vinnie Calabrese have been on the diet for over two weeks, with their fellow professional Peter Ebdon making the same decision three years ago.

"I've spent a lot of hours researching and reading books," Robertson told Cambridge News. "At the moment, it's something I really believe in and it's something I'm going to keep doing.

Great vegan athletes

  • Carl Lewis - American won his eighth and ninth Olympic gold medals in Barcelona (4x100m and long jump) after switching to vegan diet in 1991
  • Meagan Duhamel - won silver medal in team figure skating at Sochi Winter Olympics for Canada
  • Peter Ebdon - former snooker world champion became vegan in 2011
  • Peter Siddle - Fast bowler helped Australia regain Ashes this year after going vegan in 2013

"There's no reason to stop because I used to drink four coffees a day and I haven't had one for two weeks, and I don't feel the need to.

"That's a pretty big bonus when you've got a four-year-old son running around at seven o'clock in the morning, so overall my health is good and I feel great."

Robertson takes on 19-year-old Joe O'Connor in the first round at York's Barbican Centre on Thursday.

Having fought back from 5-1 down to beat Mark Selby 10-7 in the 2013 final and complete the triple crown, Robertson is hoping for more serene progress at the tournament this year.

"I'm not too sure if I want to keep that habit going, but I played some of the best snooker of my career and that was probably the most pleasing thing about the win," added Robertson.

"I go back there with a lot of confidence and I've had a solid season so far, and I think this is the tournament most players have been looking forward to.

"It's going to be really hard to defend my title, but it's always better going into a tournament as defending champion than not."

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