Pankaj Advani wins 22nd world title

Stunning record
Pankaj Advani has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014. File photo: IANS
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Mandalay (Myanmar): Pankaj Advani, one of India's most consistent sportspersons, on Sunday increased his tally of world titles to 22 by winning a fourth straight final in the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship here.

The 34-year-old has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014.

In the short format of billiards, this is Pankaj's fifth title in the last six years.

"It's such a touch-and-go format and so unpredictable that winning this four years on the trot and five out of the last six is extremely special," said the champion.

In a repeat of last year's final against local favourite Nay Thway Oo, Pankaj re-enacted the one-sided match with the same eventual outcome as well as identical scorelines of 6-2.

From the word go, Pankaj was in full flow. The gifted Indian was leading 3-0 at the halfway mark with the help of fluent breaks comprising 145, 89 and 127, while Nay Thway Oo was yet to open his account.

After pulling one back with breaks of 63 and 62, Oo was forced to watch Pankaj continue to extend the lead. Pankaj executed with flair, wowing the Myanmar crowd as they couldn't help but appreciate his brilliance.

Pankaj secured the next two frames which included a 150 unfinished break. He scored a 74 break and shortly after that closed out the match.

Oo was subdued by his accomplished opponent and had to settle for a silver medal for the second time in a row.

The Bengaluru-based cueist has won more world titles in his sport than anyone else.

On winning a staggering 22nd world title, Pankaj added, "Every time I participate in a World Championship, one thing is clear - my motivation to excel has not diminished. This win a testament to the fact that my hunger and fire are both well and truly alive."

Pankaj will have to adjust to snooker in less than 24 hours as he competes in the IBSF World Six-Red Snooker and the World Team Snooker Championships.

The result: Pankaj Advani (India) bt Nay Thway Oo (Myanmar) 6-2 (150(145)-4, 151(89)-66, 150(127)-50(50), 7-150(63,62), 151(50)-69(50), 150(150)-0, 133(64)-150(105), 150(74)-75(63). 

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