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Pankaj Advani wins the World Professional Billiards title
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Lathesh Suryakantha

Pankaj Advani wins the World Professional Billiards title

New Delhi: India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Sunday night beat defending and nine time champion Mike Russell to become only the second Indian to win the World Professional Billiards title in its 139-year-old history.

Advani, who was awarded the country’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2005-06, beat Russell 2030-1253 at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England.

The first Indian to win the professional billiards world championship was Geet Sethi, who crashed out of the tournament this time in a league match against eventual champion Advani 482-818.

It could well have been an all-India affair in the title match but Rupesh Shah squandered a first session lead to go down 880-1366 against Russell in the second semi-final.

Advani had in the first semi-final notched up a close win over compatriot Dhruv Sitwala.

Advani already has a slew of records against his name. He won his first world championship title in 2003 World Amateur Snooker Championship in China.

After winning the World Amateur Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, he became only the second cueist after Malta’s Paul Mifsud to have won both the amateur billiards and snooker world titles.

Advani is also the only player to have achieved a ‘grand double’ of winning both the points and timed formats at the World Amateur Billiards Championships. He first achieved the feat in 2005 and repeated it in the 2008 championships held in Bangalore.

Twenty-four-year-old Advani also won the Asian Games gold medal at Doha in 2006.

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Posted on: September 07, 2009

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