Renthlei wins maiden snooker title for Mizoram

July 27th, 2011 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 27 (IANS) Mizoram produced its first National champion in any form of cue sports as 20-year old Lalrina Renthlei from Aizwal emerged winner in the junior snooker event here Wednesday, winning two of his three semifinal league matches.

Renthlei won the title on the countback after he tied with ML Lakshman (Karnataka) and Himanshu Jain (Andhra), all with two wins and a loss apiece. Jain finished second, followed by Laksham and Mundir Sherazi (Karnataka) who lost all his three outings.

Renthlei, a self-taught player who learnt the basics by watching videos of legendary Steve Davis, made fleeting appearances on the Indian circuit for the past couple of years, and finished third in the 9-ball National championship and fifth in 8-ball this year.

“This is my happiest moment and although I didn’t play all that well, may be 60 per cent of my potential, I am very pleased that I managed to win my first title.

“I dedicate this win to my father who passed away in 2004 and Mukesh Rehani (who expired this year) who toughened me mentally when he visited Mizoram for two weeks,” said the second year Commerce student of Govt College in Aizwal.

Last year, Renthlei made an early exit at the Pune Nationals, but performed well in the senior section, making it to the round of 32 where he lost to Karnataka’s IH Manudev.

“I got thrashed by a local player in the juniors at Pune where I arrived without much practice. I then worked hard and fared better in the seniors, reaching pre-quarter-finals,” said Renthlei who took the snooker seriously after giving up a promising career in basketball where he represented Mizoram in several Nationals championships.

Hours before Renthlei created history, Asian Asian and defending champion Alok Kumar (PSPB) tripped to a shock defeat against Shankar Rao (Andhra), but recovered to win his next game Anshul Mittal (Haryana) in the senior National Billiards championship.

The 42-year old Alok hailing from Punjab and the defending champion struggled in the 9am Group B match against the unheralded Rao and lost 1-3, but was back on his feet later in the day when he beat Mittal 3-0.

“In the 100-up format, you cannot take anything for granted. Anybody can win on a given day and 9 am was a bit early in the day for me.

“Also, in the past couple of months, after winning the Asian title, I have been playing a lot of pool and that probably affected my billiards game. I need to improve a lot,” he said.

The results:

Junior Boys snooker (s-f league): ML Lakshman (Kar) bt Mundir Sherazi (Kar) 3-2 (40-66, 77-15, 59-10, 58-61, 59-65); Lalrina Renthlei (Miz) bt Mundir Sherazi (Kar) 3-1 (39-59, 65-57, 58-17, 65-46); Himanshu Jain (AP) bt Lakshman 3-0 (69-15, 49-45, 87(44)-06); Renthlei bt Jain 3-1 (71(52)-17, 18-65, 75-36, 73-19); Jain bt Sherazi 3-2 (51-42, 41-67, 58-67, 71-44, 76(45)-16); Lakshman bt Renthlei 3-2 (18-85(46),74-47, 28-84 ,66-44, 68-41).

Final Standings: Renthlei 1, Jain 2, Lakshman 3, Sherazi 4.

Senior billiards (preliminary league):

Group A: IV Rajiv (AP) bt MS Reddy (Rlys) 3-1; Prem Prakash (TN) bt Jai Shankar Sha (Jhar) 3-0; Pankaj Advani (PSPB) bt Vishal Madan (Mah) 3-1.

Group B: S Simhachallam (Rlys) bt Anshul Mittal (Har) 3-0; Shanker Rao (AP) bt Alok Kumar (PSPB) 3-1; Nitin Kohli (UP) bt Utsav Ramani (Guj) 3-1; Alok Kumar bt Mittal 3-0.

Group C: Ketan Chawla (MP) bt Rajkumar (Kar) 3-1; Siddarth Parekh (Rlys) bt Sanket Saurabh (Bho) 3-0; Geet Sethi (Guj) bt D Bhuvaneshwaran (TN) 3-0.

Group D: Dhruv Sitwala (PSPB) bt Akram Khan (WB) 3-1; Arif Akthar (Chd) bt Abineet Sharma (MP) 3-0; Arun Agarwal (Mah) bt Subrat Das (WB) 3-0.

Group E: Shivam Arora (Bho) bt Kankan Shamsi (UP) 3-2; Saurav Kothari (PSPB) bt Abhishek Saini (Har) 3-0; Rupesh Shah (PSPB) bt Aditya Agarwal (Rlys)3-0.

Group F: Shakeel Ahmed (WB) bt SA Saleem (TN) 3-0; Mahesh Jagdule (Mah) bt Kunal Manchanda (Raj) 3-0; Saleem bt Amit Sharma (Del) 3-0.

Group G: B Bhaskar (Kar) w/o Jayanth Menghani (Raj); IH Manudev (Kar) bt MC Manoj (TN) 3-2.

Group H: Shyam Jagtiani (WB) bt Amit Lath (Ori) 3-0; Durga Prasad (Rlys) bt Manish Jain (WB) 3-0; Devendra Joshi (PSPB) bt Dhvaj Haria (Guj) 3-1.

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