Five world champs, including Advani, for Asian Billiards

March 6th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by admin  

Yangon, March 6 (Xinhua) 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 at Myanmar’s largest city here next month. 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.

The selected Myanmar snooker players who will participate in the championships are Naing Lin Thu, Hein Lwin Moe, Win Khaing, Ye Zaw Htut and Zaw Win Cho.

The MBSF won 16 medals - three gold, seven silver and six bronze - from international competitions from 1997 to 2007, grabbing one bronze at the World Championship, one gold, one silver and three bronzes from Asian Billiards Championships, two silvers and one bronze from Asian Games and two gold, four silvers and one bronze from SEA Games.

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