Pankaj Advani won his 11th World Championship title at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, United Kingdom. Pankaj claimed the title with a win over current World No. 1 Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the World Billiards Championship final.
A World Champion with a Penchant for World Titles
This is the third World Title of the year for Pankaj Advani. While most of his titles have been in billiards, this year Pankaj also won the World 6 Ball Snooker championship and has several impressive performances in the professional World Snooker circuit.
All along Pankaj has shown a rare capability of playing his best in the Finals of a World Championship. Pankaj Advani had been defeated by Peter Gilchrist in the group stages. But in the finals, Pankaj did not allow Peter Gilchrist to settle down as he raced away to a 6 frames to two victory. In addition Pankaj has shown a rare ability to be able to adapt to the different playing requirements of snooker and billiards and yet continue to pull out some remarkable performances in both forms of the game.
And so with this win in the 150-up segment, Pankaj Advani has displayed the hunger and adaptability that suggests he will win many more World Titles. Pankaj will certainly be aiming to win even the second world title that is up for grabs in the time limit format.
The Champion’s Road To Glory:
Pankaj Advani was placed in the Group B of the competitors. The runner-up Peter Gilchrist was also in the same group. Here is an account of how the champ fared in all his matches:
Last 32- bt Larry Drennan (Ireland) 4-0
Last 16- bt David Causier (England) 4-0
Quarterfinal- bt Alok Kumar (India) 4-0
Semifinal- bt Sourav Kothari (India) 5-2
Final- bt Peter Gilchrist (Singapore) 6-2
Advani finished the tournament with 23603.75 rating points and is currently ranked 9th in the latest rankings. The other Indian players also put up a good show throughout the tournament. 10 out of the 16 players in the round of 16 were Indians. Here is a quick look at the Indian players with their rankings and the stages they reached:
Indian Players In The Competition
Alok Kumar, Dhruv Sitwala and Sourav Kothari also impressed in the World Championships with Saurav Kothari making to the semi-finals and Alok and Dhruv reaching the quarterfinals. Following is a summary of the performance of the other Indian players along with their current rankings (in brackets)
Player , Ranking, Performance in World Billiards
1) Balchandra Bhaskar(18)- Last 32
2) Alok Kumar(6)- Quarter Final
3) Dhruv Sitwala(8)- Quarter Final
4) Siddharth Parikh(19)- Last 16
5) Sourav Kothari(12)- Semi Final
6) Ashok Shandilya(13)- Last 16
7) Pankaj Advani(9)- WINNER
8) Rupesh Shah(7)- Last 16
9) Devendra Joshi(11)- Last 16
10) Arun Agarwal(22)- Last 16
11) Dhvaj Haria(21)- Last 32
12) Venkateswaran Subramanian(30)- Last 32
13) Aditya Agrawal(36)- Last 32
14) Jaiveer Dhingra(33)- Last 16
15) Raj Kumar(40)- Group stage
16) Sushrut Pandia(59)- Group stage
Dhruv Sitwala and Alok Kumar qualified for the quarter finals and were beaten by Robert Hall of England and Pankaj Advani respectively. Sourav Kothari entered the semifinals and was also defeated by the champion Pankaj Advani.