Kothari bats for cue sports inclusion in Olympics

The world champion said once the sport becomes part of the Olympics it will change the perception people have towards cue sports.

Sourav Kothari, in October this year won the WBL World Billiards Championship (File photo).   -  V. GANESAN

The reigning WBL World Billiards champion Sourav Kothari said once the sport becomes part of the Olympics it will change the perception people have towards cue sports.

“I feel people have an obsession with Olympic sports,” Kothari said in a meet-the-press programme hosted by the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club. “Once I became the World Billiards champion I felt it something like a one-day wonder. The feeling happened mainly because everywhere, whatever platform you go to, the achievers in Olympic sports are pushed in front,” Kothari said in an attempt to put his achievement in perspective.

The champion cueist said it would be a great day for the sport if it succeeds in its bid to gain entry into the 2024 Olympics in Paris. “It is nice to see Shaun Murphy representing the World Snooker Association in officially launching the bid for Paris Olympics. Snooker is massively popular in Europe and in many parts of the world and it should be included in Olympics," Kothari said on the eve of his departure to Marsa Alam, Egypt to participate in IBSF World 6 Red Snooker Championship.

Kothari, who defeated Peter Gilchrist of Singapore to lift the WBL World Billiards Championship title in October, said he is looking to use the confidence gained from the recent victory to get success in snooker. “I am leaning on the fact that I was the National 6 Red Snooker champion few years back. The fields in billiards and snooker are different but I hope to be up to the challenge,” Kothari said.