The first cue sports gold at the 1998 Asian Games at Bangkok was won by Ashok Shandilya and myself in the doubles billiards event. It was the first time ever that cue sports were included in the Asian Games and it was a most emotional and meaningful medal for me.
I was a five-time world billiards champion at the time, but none of those titles meant as much as that winning moment in Bangkok. I have cried only once after a title victory and it was at that victory ceremony in Bangkok when the tiranga was raised and our national anthem was played. Those tears are proof that that was my golden moment.
The victory meant even more because we came from a 1-3 deficit to win 4-3 and that too against the local Thai favourites in Bangkok. There is no emotion for a sportsperson that betters the emotion of winning at the Asian Games or the Olympics.
As told to G. Viswanath
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