Pakistan's Teen Wins Over India to Take Snooker Championship
KARACHI: PAKISTAN’S Hamza Akbar overcame a 30-point deficit in the final frame to win his first international title at the Asian Snooker Championships in Cheras today.
The 22-year-old Hamza edged India’s two-time Asian Games gold medallist Pankaj Advani 7-6 (66-43, 43-55, 79-18, 70-2, 28-72, 63-59, 64-57, 79-21, 0-116, 5-78, 8-89, 63-28, 61-52) in the seven-hour battle.
Hamza, the second player from Pakistan to win the Asian amateur title since Mohd Yousuf in 1998, earned US$7,000 (RM25,000) for his efforts while Pankaj received US$3,500 (RM12,500). At 6-6, Pankaj led 52-22 in the final frame before the 30-year-old made an error with the final red ball on the table.
Hamza took the opportunity to reduce the deficit and clear the table for the title.
With the win, Hamza, the two-time Pakistan champion, earned a two-year card to play in the United Kingdom professional tour. “Unbelievable”, said the soft-spoken Hamza after the prize giving ceremony at Viva Expo Hall. “Pankaj is one of the best players in Asia and I managed to beat him here. I, however, made things difficult. I led 4-2 and 5-3 but allowed Pankaj into the match. “My ambition is to become a world champion. If my sponsor agrees, I will use the professional card for the UK tour this year.”
The tournament will be held in Doha, Qatar next year.
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