India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Thursday won his third straight IBSF billiards crown in the 150-up format, taking his overall tally of world titles to a staggering 20.
The 33-year-old from Bengaluru overcame Nay Thway Oo of Myanmar in a high-quality final. After bossing the ‘150-up’ format, Advani will now compete in the longer version, ‘Up’ format, commences immediately.
It was also a proud moment for Myanmar which saw its own player in the title round for the first time. Nay Thway Oo did well to oust multiple world champion Mike Russell in the semifinal with a convincing 5-2 victory.
With home support and overall advantage, the one thing that was evidently lacking was the experience of competing in a World Championship final as Oo was denied much opportunity to reproduce the magic of his previous match.
Up against the man to beat in the world of billiards, Oo wasn’t given much breathing space as Advani was clearly on a mission to retain his title. And he did so with absolute supremacy. His flow and fluency left even the local crowd in awe of his prowess as they saw the visitor steal the dream from its national hero.
“This win is extremely special for me. It’s a perfect 20 and I’m glad that I’m still hungry for more. It’s pleasing to be able to play at a quality level over the years and looking to take this tally beyond a score’,” said the champion.
As Advani played the winning shot, the sporting Myanmar cueist clapped, smiled and rose from his chair to congratulate his worthy opponent.
While this is yet another world title for the maestro, this win also marks a hat-trick of wins in the shorter format. Advani had won in his hometown Bengaluru in 2016 before doing the same in Doha last year.