|Picture by Monique Limbos|
The 21-year-old showed a great touch at the table as he quickly and efficiently went about his business of waving goodbye to the Northern Ireland man.
This was a debutant performance that will live long in the memory.
He took on brave long pots, made some tidy big breaks and proved yet again the strength of the army of Chinese players coming through the professional ranks.
While Cao's win will go down as a big World Championship upset, he's not without previous.
He's the current under-21 Asian champion and won an impressive four matches to book his place here. None of Kurt Maflin, Dave Harold, Nigel Bond or Tom Ford could prevent his march to the venue and he's not done yet.
Passage to the last 16 here is his best ranking event performance in this his first season on the tour and with £16,000 of prize money already in the bag, that will now nearly treble his total career earnings.
While Cao can certainly celebrate his great victory this evening, such is the standard on the current circuit, he'll have to win one more match to secure his card for another season. And, that could be against Ding Junhui.
The excitement among the Chinese snooker media is boiling.