Pankaj Advani rules

Pankaj Advani pocketed a double again at a National meet.-PTI

The 29-year-old, the owner of 12 world crowns, is currently miles ahead of the competition in India and is busy creating a legacy which will be almost impossible to match. By S. Sabanayakan.

Pankaj Advani, for the fourth time in his career, pocketed both the billiards and snooker titles at a National Championship. The 29-year-old, also the owner of 12 world crowns, is currently miles ahead of the competition in India and is busy creating a legacy which will be almost impossible to match.

Advani downed Dhruv Sitwala, a fellow PSPB cueist, in the billiards final, mesmerising his opponent as well as the spectators with his near-perfect game. His superior showing continued as he downed first-time finalist Varun Madan of Delhi in the snooker final.

Madan, 24, came through the qualifying rounds to challenge Advani and held his ground in the early stages of the summit clash but soon was overpowered by the defending champion.

Arantxa Sanchis of Maharashtra regained the women's billiards title, overcoming a vastly experienced Meenal Thakur in a two-hour long final.-SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

“The double is becoming tougher with each passing year with so many specialists in either billiards or snooker. I’m somewhere in between and I’m glad that I have remained unbeaten,” Advani said.

Showering praise on Madan, he said, “I’m very happy for him. He’ll have really good years in snooker. His attacking play was phenomenal. Once he sorts out the tactical side he will be tough to beat.”

Sitwala, whose immense talent took him to two World and National Championship finals, was no match for Advani in the billiards final. “I was feeling on top of the world after posting back-to-back 150s because it does not happen very often,” Advani said after his win. “Those two 150s in the second and third frames really put the match away from Sitwala.”

Sitwala was gracious in defeat and said, “Players like Roger Federer, Sachin Tendulkar and Pankaj Advani come once in every 100 years. It’s difficulty to stop Pankaj when he gets going. You can just sit back and watch the maestro in action.”

Arantxa, Amee triumph

Arantxa Sanchis of Maharashtra regained the women’s billiards title, overcoming a vastly experienced Meenal Thakur in a two-hour long final.

The ever smiling 24-year-old had won her maiden national trophy in 2012 downing Meenal. Here, Arantxa breezed past Vidya Pillai (Karnataka) 2-0 in the quarterfinals and Chitra M. (Karnataka) 2-0 in the semifinals. Meenal made it to the final after edging out R. Umadevi (Karnataka) 2-1 in the semis.

Amee Kamani of Madhya Pradesh won her first National snooker title, defeating Vidya Pillai of Karnataka.-SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

Amee Kamani of Madhya Pradesh won her first National title, defeating Vidya Pillai of Karnataka, who was searching for a record ninth National snooker title, in the final.

Amee’s grand showing in two recent international meets — she was part of the bronze-medal winning team in the IBSF world team and 6-Red snooker championship held in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt and also won a silver in the Australian Open women’s snooker championship — has given her immense confidence and it was clearly in evidence at the National Championship.

Ishpreet Singh Chadha (Maharashtra) and Avinash Kumar (Delhi) won the junior men’s billiards and snooker titles respectively by topping the four-player round-robin. In the billiards round-robin for the top four cueists, Ishpreet, S. Shrikrishna and B. Jagadesh (both Tamil Nadu) won two of their three matches, triggering a three-way tie. Ishpreet was announced the winner based on score aggregate. Avinash won his maiden junior men’s snooker crown, coming through the qualifiers to enter the four-man round-robin, where he went on to win all his games.

West Bengal’s Doyel Dey had a sensational run, winning four crowns in the junior and sub-junior women’s billiards and snooker. The 16-year-old school girl from Kolkata was playing in her third National meet.