Ashok Shandilya loses in qualifying round of national snooker

August 4th, 2011 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 4 (IANS) Former top ranked player Ashok Shandilya (Railways) failed to qualify for the senior national snooker championship as he went down 2-3 to Nigel Lazar who is on a comeback after a 14-year gap in the final qualifying round here Thursday.

Along with Lazar, a travel agent who won the Oman National title six times after leaving Chennai and playing his first Nationals since 1997, three from Karnataka Jasim Tawin, Rajkumar and Amit Bhushan besides Faisal Khan (Railways) made it to the main draw.

The 42-year old Mumbai-based Shandilya, who had burst upon the senior scene some 20 years ago as a surprise National billiards champion on sheer potting prowess, and was among top four in snooker, failed to get going against the 46-year old Lazar who made better use of the chances that came his way.

“I guess, I don’t deserve to qualify. I don’t know what exactly has gone wrong, but I can tell you there is no hand-eye-mind co-ordination,” said Shandilya whose laboured progress to the billiards quarter-finals last week reflected the rather jerky and uncertainty in his cueing.

“Against Lazar, I started well with a 24 break, but missed a sitter read and he made a strong reply. Then the match went one way and the other. I had my chances in every frame, but did not capitalise and I eventually lost,” said Shandilya who was forced to take the qualifying route after having missed the inter-Railway competition in Hyderabad earlier this year.

Meanwhile, action began in the 64-player main draw of the snooker championship that promises to be very competitive with at least half-a-dozen players capable of winning the title.

The players have been divided into 16 groups of four each for the preliminary league with the top two qualifying for the knock-out stage.

The results:

Final qualifying round: Nigel Lazar (TN) bt Ashok Shandilya (Rlys), 3-2 (47-56, 62-51, 14-70, 74-42, 64-49; Jasim Tawin (Kar) bt Mahesh Jagdule (Mah), 3-1 (17-69, 70-01, 59-41, 55-17); Faisal Khan (Rlys) bt Varun Madan (Del) 3-2 (50-64, 63-01, 79-22, 60-51); Rajkumar (Kar) bt Siddarth Parekh (Rlys) 3-2 (78-32, 18-61, 88-83, 38-51, 67-47); Amit Bhushan (Kar) bt Monu Chaudary (Del) 3-2 (26-79, 73-49, 56-27, 10-68, 84-60).

Main draw (preliminary league):

Group A: Saket Saurabh (Bih) bt Nikhil Ootam (Mah) 3-0. Group B: Rajat Kheneja (Chd) bt Rayan Khan (Goa) 3-1. Group C: Sumit Talwar (Chd) bt Shridar (AP) 3-0. Group D: Balaji Reddy (Kar) bt Guruvinder Gulati (Pun) 3-2. Group E: Vijay Goel (Del) bt Vivek Chopra (Pun) 3-1. Group F: Rafath Habib (Rlys) bt Amarnath (Meg) 3-1. Group G: Sarang Shroff (Mah) bt Mumtaz Ali (Jhar) 3-1. Group H: Lallawmkima (Miz) bt Abhimanya Gandhi (Guj) 3-1. Group I: R Loganathan (TN) bt Sukumar Burman (Asm) 3-0. Group J: Anees Saini (Har) bt Jeet Kishore (Ori) 3-1. Group K: Sandeep Gulati (Del) bt Ketan Sabahchandani (Guj) 3-0. Group L: Lalrina Renthlei (Miz) bt Bharat Sisodeya (MP) 3-0. Group M: Subrat Das (Ori) bt Divya Sharma (Har) 3-1. Group N: Pushpinder Singh (Rlys) bt Nitin Agarwal 3-1. Group O: Shankar Rao (AP) bt Kamal Rohetr (J & K) 3-1; Group P: Shivam Arora (Bih) bt Manish Mordani (Meg) 3-0.

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