Pankaj Advani defended his title at the Asian Billiards Championships by pulverizing his practice partner B. Bhaskar 6-1 in the summit clash here, while Amee Kamani bagged the Asian Women’s Snooker title by blanking her Thai opponent Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan 3-0.
Riding the win, Advani remained the reigning Indian, Asian and World champion in billiards for 2017-18. This is Advani’s 11th gold medal at the Asian level of cue sports.
After losing the first frame, thanks to a well-crafted 100 by Bhaskar, the rest of the match saw Advani dominate for every mistake made by Bhaskar with a frame-winning break. Advani left the spectators mesmerized with top quality billiards as he scored a deadly barrage of breaks in the final consisting of 102, 83, 94, 96 and 99.
Advani scored heavily in the fourth and fifth frames, not allowing Bhaskar to put a single point on the board. These two frames appeared to be the turning point of the tie as it kept Bhaskar away from the table while Advani grew from strength to strength, making him invincible from that point on.
There were spirited attempts thereafter of a comeback from the eventual silver medalist Bhaskar but Advani was in no mood to let his lead and title go.
He completed the proceedings with a world-class 99 break to seal the match and championship yet again. Bhaskar is yet to win an Asian title.
Amee meanwhile remained undefeated throughout the group stage and earned the top-seed slot for the knockout stage where she knocked out Aye Ming Aung of Myanmar 3-0 (in Quarters) and Ka Kai Wan of Hong Kong 3-1 (in semis) before scripting the history against the Thai girl.
Another Indian woman, Keerath Bhandaal the earned bronze medal for India by reaching the semi-finals. For India, it remained one of the best overseas performance under the leadership of Indian coach Ashok Shandilya and now all returning home with total 6 Asian medals.
– With inputs from IANS