News from the snooker planet

There is no action on the main tour right now – it all starts again on Monday – but there is plenty of snooker played elsewhere.

Pankaj Advani became the 2019 Asian Snooker Champion. This win is highly significant for Pankaj and for Indian snooker

Asian Snooker Championship: Pankaj Advani wins to complete career grand slam in cue sports

New Delhi: India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Friday (June 21) clinched the 35th men’s Asian Snooker Championship in Doha, Qatar, to complete a career grand slam in cue sports.

Advani conquered the ACBS Asian Snooker events — 6-red (short format) and 15-red (long format) — along with the IBSF World Championships in both formats too.

Having already accomplished it in Billiards, Pankaj had this elusive 15-red Asian Snooker title missing from his silverware collection.

Advani defeated Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (Thailand) 6-3 in the final to become the only one to win the Asian and World championships in all formats.

He is also the only one to do so in two sports, both Billiards and Snooker.

“With this title, I’ve done everything I could when representing my country in both the sports. This win completes my trophy cabinet so I now know I will be sleeping well for a very long time.” Advani said.

“Having won all that there is, I’d like to continue competing with the objective of deriving personal growth through the medium of sport and to also share my knowledge with budding cueists.

“I’m now going to enter every championship to enjoy my game while at the same time focus on other areas of my life too.”

After a shaky start against Thanawat, Advani found himself with yet another deficit.

At 1-3, the Indian went into overdrive and won 5 frames on the trot to capture the Asian 15-red snooker title.

Thanawat started off with a bang leading 2-0 in no time. Advani responded with a 54 break to make it 1-2 but the Thai was in no mood to concede another frame and continued his brilliant potting display.

He came up with a 75 break and reached the halfway mark with three frames in his pocket.

Advani, who was running a fever, grinded it out one frame at a time. By the time he drew it at 3-3, Thanawat lost his momentum and confidence to only see his 21-time world champion opponent race to the finish line.

Pankaj will now take part in IBSF World Cup next week in Doha.

Results

Final: Pankaj Advani (India) beat Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (Thailand) 6-3

10-52, 1-97(97), 95(54)-1, 110(75)-1, 69-43, 71(60)-44, 80-49, 72-42, 67(50)-1

Semi-final: Pankaj defeated Asjad Iqbal (Pakistan) 5-4 31-68, 1-54, 40-76, 1-96(81), 78-8, 89-33, 55-14, 89-24, 52-26.

Pankaj now competes exclusively on the amateur circuit. He played as a professional on the main tour for two seasons. He had a very distinctive – and interesting – style of play, probably because he’s first and foremost a billiard player. However, he was unhappy. He was home sick and the main tour schedule didn’t allow him to play on the billiard circuit. He’s a lovely, unassuming man despite being a god in his country, India, which he dearly loves.

The 2019 Women World Championship is underway in Bangkog. You can follow the event here.

The headline of today was obviously Nutcharut Wongharuthai victory over the defending Champion Ng On Yee. Mink won their QF by 4-1.

The coverage available on Hi-end Snooker Wanghin Facebook page is excellent with four tables streamed. The support offered by the club, and this man in particular, is superb. Thank you Gappa Gappa!

The excellent coverage allowed us fans to appreciate how much the women snooker has improved in the last two or three years. WWS is really doing a great job.

And there are young talents coming through. A prime example being the 11 years old Russian, Ksenia Zhukova who managed to qualify for the knock-out stage.

The competition continues tomorrow.