Himanshu Jain chased a dream and is delighted to have realised it too, creating history of sorts by becoming the first Indian to qualify for the Pro Circuit World Snooker from the extremely challenging Asia-Oceania Q School qualifying championship, organised by the World Snooker Tour, in Bangkok on Saturday.
He is the fifth Indian overall (the others being Yasin Merchant, Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta, Lucky Vatnani) to get an entry into the circuit and the others made it by virtue of their rankings in Asian and World championships.
For someone who is ranked India No.3 in the 6-red snooker and is into part-time coaching, 30-year-old Himanshu will now be competing in about 30 major pro events for the next two years starting from July this year.
“The best part is that having qualified, I will be getting a free entry for all the pro events and that is a huge plus for me,” he said.
“Yes, as they say, it is a dream come true for me. The biggest challenge was against Indonesian Pochawat Pomjaeng in the final round. I had to counter his amazing break-building ability with safety play which has always been my strength,” Himanshu told Sportstar .
“Yes, getting the better of Asjad Iqbal of Pakistan in the pre-quarterfinal. He was tipped as one of the favourites and I am glad that I could play my best snooker under pressure,” Himanshu said.
“I am grateful to my good friend Pasupaleti Siva Krishna of Tripura Constructions who has been a major support on the financial front and to the Telangana State Cue Sports Association joint secretary K. Appa Rao sir for all the guidance,” he said.
“I had attempted through this for the first time in 2018 (lost in the qualifying round) and 2019 (lost in fourth round). This time around, I got a bye in the first round and won the next four matches to remain unbeaten,” he said.
“Now, I am looking forward to winning at least a couple of World Pro Tour titles,” concluded Himanshu, a huge fan of Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby.