The Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta overcame a tough Thai team to emerge world champions in the IBSF World Snooker Team event, here on Wednesday (September 25).
This takes Advani’s world title tally to a phenomenal 23 while Aditya claimed his maiden at a time when his future is being doubted due to health issues.
For Advani, this win has ensured that his name is now there on every IBSF world title on offer. He had won the world billiards event here last week.
A great start to the final was delivered by Mehta as he drew first blood winning the opener 65-31. However, Advani couldn’t get the Indian momentum going as he lost the second 9-69.
The doubles tie went India’s way thanks to a handy 55 break from Mehta.
After a couple of tight frames, India were 3-2 up and needed just two frames in the best-of-nine final to win the coveted title. Advani took over in the second doubles frame and took India one frame away with an aid of a 52 break.
But it was Mehta who sealed the deal for India as he played some of the best snooker in his career and thrashed his Thai opponent 83-9 in the seventh to get his name on the privileged list of world champions.
“I’m absolutely excited to win my first world title. All the years of hard work and struggle has finally paid off,” said Mehta.
Advani too was ecstatic.
“It’s a dream trip for me as I return from Myanmar in under 3 weeks with 2 world championship gold medals and a bronze (which he got in the world 6-red snooker event). I’m over the moon to have won the only missing world title on my list and this win is very special for that reason.
“It’s been a long but satisfying outing. Having to switch from billiards to snooker in a day and to come out on top is a reassurance that specialising in two sports is indeed achievable.”
Advani returns home for a week before heading out to Australia for the long format of the World Billiards Championship in the first week of October.
India 1 beat Thailand 2: 5-2: 65-31, 9-69, 74(55)-8, 21-64, 55-44, 72(52)-23, 83-9.