The 29-year-old Bangalore-based cueist’s third double makes him the only billiards player to achieve this feat, surpassing Mike Russell, who won the double in 2010 and 2011…
India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani clinched the World Billiards Championship ‘Time format’ title recently for a record 12th world crown from the green baize, in Leeds, UK. In so doing he completed a rare grand double, having bagged the 150-up format crown earlier, and won both the long and short formats for the third time in the same year. The 29-year-old Bangalore-based cueist’s third double makes him the only billiards player to achieve this feat, surpassing Mike Russell, who won the double in 2010 and 2011. His previous ‘doubles’ were in Malta in 2005 and his hometown in 2008.
Saving his best for the last, which is often synonymous with Advani, he led 746-485 with the help of a 185 break in the first session of the five-hour final. On resumption, he fired in breaks of 94, 182, 289 and 145, adding a whopping 1000 points in under two hours. He then went into overdrive, making the match a foregone conclusion with over hour left on the clock. Talking about how he turned things around in the second session, Advani said, “With a 260 lead in the first half, I knew I had things under control. But Hall has the ability to come back, so I decided that I was going to score as much as possible on each visit.
“I spoke with my brother, Shree, who was following the match online. A couple of tips from him did the trick too. It’s always great to win outside home. I just can’t describe my emotions now, because it has been crazy here. I have also worked really hard to win some of the major tournaments this year.”
Asked about the multiple records he set, a thrilled Advani said, “I don’t know what to say. The way I feel makes words seem incapable of truly depicting it. I worked really hard on my game and fitness, both physical and mental, before coming here (Leeds) and it definitely paid off. “I’m on my way to Sheffield now to get billiards out of my system and switch to snooker in order to prepare for the IBSF World Snooker Championship happening next month in Bengaluru.”
His 12th World title, which coincided with his mother Kajal’s birthday, made victory even sweeter. “This win is truly special. Apart from the dozen World titles and the third grand double, the main reason for it being so special is because it was won on my mother’s
birthday. She is my rock. Happy birthday Mom! Hope you like your present,” Advani