Ishika Shah wins national sub-junior snooker

The National sub-junior snooker title was at stake and the diminutive Ishika Shah defeated Anushi Seth 50-2, 50-33 to emerge a worthy winner.

Ishika Shah in action   -  Special Arrangement

They play each other five days a week at the Indore Tennis Club Academy. But on Tuesday, when it mattered, Ishika Shah played better and left Anushi Seth crestfallen. The National sub-junior snooker title was at stake and the diminutive Ishika tamed her much taller “friendly” opponent 50-2, 50-33 to emerge a worthy winner.

For Ishika, 14, it was culmination of a brilliant run where she eliminated the defending champion, Doyel Dey, in a straight-frame semi-final verdict on Monday, while Anushi got the better of Mariam Ignis (2-1).

Doyel, however, retained the sub-junior billiards title which was awarded to her when the original winner, Lahiri Sinapara, was found two months overaged. According to chief referee Kishore Khurana, Lahiri, who returned to the circuit after three years, was not aware that the age limit had been amended to 18 years from 19.

Ishika would watch her dad play and nurtured ambitions of competing. “I had to wait until I reached the height of the table,” failing to suppress her smile. “I worked hard for two years and finished runner-up last year in the National at Kolkata.” Her loss to Doyel played on her mind when the two met here. “I was nervous because of the defeat last year,” Ishika said.

For the final, Ishika was prepared. “I was confident because I knew Anushi’s game well. I knew my game was better.” Her game was indeed superior and she emerged a clear winner against Anushi, who was backed by her mates from the Emerald Heights International School, the venue for this championship. Ishika’s lessons in meditation helped her maintain composure at the table and win her maiden title at the national level.

The results:

Girls sub-junior (final): Ishika Shah bt Anushi Seth 50-2, 50-33; (semifinals): Ishika bt Doyel Dey 49-40, 49-41; Anushi bt Mariam Ignis 25-29, 44-28, 26-21.

Senior snooker main draw: Sandeep Gulati bt Shoib Khan 3-1, Jaiveer Dhingra bt Sonam Gurang 3-1, Vinayak Agarwal bt Abhimanyu Gandhi 3-2, S. Shrikrishna bt Harish Gandhi 3-1, H Manudev bt Gagan Manchanda 3-0, Panduranga Rao bt Ashutosh Padhy 3-0, Yonuis Kuchey bt Ayush Kumar 3-1, Dhvaj Haria bt Mohit Chouhan 3-2, Ishpreet Chaddha bt R. Girish 3-2, Monu Choudhry bt Nishant Biswal 3-2, Nitesh Madan bt Sumit Talwar 3-1, Sourav Kothari bt Abhijoy Ghosh 3-0, Faisal Khan bt Ankur Nanda 3-1.

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