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Indians fill up knockout berths in World Snooker

Bengaluru: Amidst a hectic scramble for knockout berths at the IBSF World Snooker Championship, Denise Santos from the Philippines came up with a break of 91, the highest in the women's competition so far, as she beat Russia's Irina Gorbataya 3-0 here Monday.

The victory helped Santos to remain in contention for a knockout berth that is fast filling up and she needs to beat winless Madeleine Jeanne Young of South Africa in her last league match to keep her hopes alive.

For the hosts, it was a fairly a successful day with national champion Vidya Pillai, Neeta Sanghvi, Amee Kamani and Arantxa Sanchis joining Chitra Magimairajan in the women's knockouts.

Interestingly, Pillai and Kamani both lost their matches but they had enough wins in the kitty to ensure that they progressed to the Round of 24.

Pillai went down fighting 2-3 to double World Champion Ng On Yee of Hong Kong while Kamani, hitherto unbeaten, was surprised by her compatriot Sanchis 2-3 in a tight match while Sanghvi came through 3-0 against Brazilian Fernanda Irinieu.

Three Thai players -- Waratthanun Sukritthanes, Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan and Siraphat Chitchomnart -- also advanced to the women's Round of 24 along with defending champion Wendy Jans (Belgium), Anastasia Nacaeva (Russia) and Aussies Jessica Woods and Sue Martin.

In the men's section, Kamal Chawla, who had already qualified for the knockouts, lost his concluding league match 3-4 against Singapore's Ang Boon Chin, who thus made it to the next round.

Joining Chawla in the Round of 64 were compatriots Rupesh Shah, who beat 13-year-old Japanese schoolboy Keishin Kamihashi 4-0 and Sourav Kothari, a comfortable 4-0 winner over Poland's Patryk Maslowski.

The temperamental Manan Chandra and Shahbaaz Adil Khan also scrambled through to the Round of 64 despite losing. Welshman Jamie Clarke put it past Chandra 4-2 while Aussie Matthew Bolton stopped Khan 4-2 to qualify for the knockouts.

Later, Pakistan's Muhammad Sajjad overwhelmed Brijesh Damani 4-0 to remain unbeaten in Group P with five wins to book his spot in the knockouts. Damani, who celebrated his 33rd birthday last week, too advanced with three wins.

China's Zhao Xintong, last year's runner-up, warmed up for the knockout phase with a thumping 4-0 win over Muhammad Faaris Kahn of South Africa, a break of 121 marking his progress.

Joining Xintong in the last 64 were Iran's Amir Sarkhosh, Thor Chuan Leong of Malaysia, Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn (Thailand), Hamza Akbar (Pakistan), Gareth Allen (Wales), Yan Bingtaon (China), Karam Fatima (Syria), Boonyarit Keattikun (Thailand), Lee Chun Wai (Hong Kong), Michael Judge (Ireland) and Lucas Kleckers (Germany).

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