Advani to spearhead Indian team for Asian Billiards

March 6th, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead, Changing Dateline)

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) The defending world champion along with four other former champions, including India’s Pankaj Advani, will participate in the Asian Billiards and Under-21 Asian Snooker Championships in Yangon. The Indian team will be announced Friday. “The national camp for the Indian probables concluded in Shillong Wednesday and the team will be announced Friday,” Ravi Tandon, vice-president of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, told IANS here.

“We are assessing the players’ performance at the moment. But besides Advani, the likes of Geet Sethi and Rupesh Shah will most probably make it to the team,” he said.

Competitors from 16 countries and region - Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and host Myanmar - will take part in the 7th Asian Billiards and 9th U-21 Asian Snooker Championships, scheduled April 5-12, Myanmar Billiards and Snooker Federation (MBSF) was quoted by the Yangon Times as saying.

Two billiards players and two snooker players each from one country or a region can participate in the championships, to be held at Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, while host Myanmar is allowed five players each to compete in the continental competition, MBSF said.

The Myanmar cueists are Kyaw Oo, Aung Htay, Aung San Oo, Nay Thway Oo and Min Si Thu Tun. Kyaw Oo, who is the country’s top player, grabbed the billiards doubles title at the 24th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Thailand in December with compatriot Aung San Oo the second consecutive time. He also finished third at the 36th World Billiards Championship in Singapore in September the same year.

Myanmar is one of the billiards powerhouses of Asia, having a long history of good results in international billiards tournaments.

Aung San Oo triumphed in the 2006 Asian Billiards Championship and Aung Htay was last year’s Asian billiards bronze medallist.

Myanmar’s major opponents will be from India, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as they have some world class players who have won world champion titles in recent years and India appears to be the toughest opponent, said Kyaw Oo last month, adding that “we are used to competing with them and I believe we can achieve some good results at the tournament”.

At the World Billiards Championship in Singapore last year, Kyaw Oo beat Advani, a former world champion, in the knockout stage and Peter Gilchrist, defending Asian billiards champion and former world billiards champion, in the quarterfinals, while Nay Thway Oo also defeated Peter Gilchrist.

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