Pankaj Advani clinches record 22nd world billiards title

India's ace cueist had moved into the final after beating Mike Russell 5-2 in the semifinal of IBSF World Billiards Championship.

File Photo: Pankaj Advani bagged a record 22nd world title on Sunday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Pankaj Advani, on Sunday, bagged a record 22nd world title by winning a fourth straight final in the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship here.

The 34-year-old has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014.

In the short format of billiards, this is Pankaj’s fifth title in the last six years.

“It’s such a touch-and-go format and so unpredictable that winning this four years on the trot and five out of the last six is extremely special,” said the champion athlete.

In a repeat of last year’s final against local favourite Nay Thway Oo, Pankaj re-enacted the one-sided match with the same eventual outcome as well as identical scorelines of 6-2.

Hunger to win

Pankaj was leading 3-0 at the halfway mark with the help of fluent breaks comprising 145, 89 and 127, while Nay Thway Oo was yet to open his account.

After pulling one back with breaks of 63 and 62, Oo was forced to watch Pankaj extend the lead.

Pankaj secured the next two frames which included a 150 unfinished break. He scored a 74 break and shortly after that closed out the match.

On winning a staggering 22nd world title, Pankaj added, “Every time I participate in a world championship, one thing is clear - my motivation to excel has not diminished. This win is a testament to the fact that my hunger and fire are both well and truly alive.”

Pankaj has to adjust to snooker in less than 24 hours as he competes in the IBSF World Six-Red Snooker and the World Team Snooker Championships.

Results:

Pankaj Advani (India) defeated Nay Thway Oo (Myanmar) 6-2 150(145)-4, 151(89)-66, 150(127)-50(50), 7-150(63,62), 151(50)-69(50), 150(150)-0, 133(64)-150(105), 150(74)-75(63). PTI BS BS 09151640