At 52, former World No 7 billiards player Nalin Patel is still potting away to glory. The ace cueist won the bronze medal at the English Open Billiards Championship held recently at the Cambridge Snooker Centre in England.
Nalin Patel poses with his English Open Billiards Championship bronze medal at the Bombay Gymkhana yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Patel defeated England's Phil Mumford 500-287 in the quarter-finals before going on to lose to world champion Peter Gilchrist (374-603) and finishing with the bronze. Top seed Gilchrist eventually lost to England's No 2 seed David Causier 471-534 in the final.
Patel's feat is impressive considering he was returning to the green baize after a gap of eight years. Patel credited India billiards legend Geet Sethi for his comeback.
"It's been a great experience to compete with some of the top billiards players around the world. Initially, I found it difficult, but then I spoke to former world champ Geet and he motivated me to play again," Patel told mid-day at the Bombay Gymkhana yesterday.
Patel is now keen to take his success forward. "I'm planning to compete in the Irish Open followed by two more tournaments in Canada — all in May," said Patel. Finally, Patel is hopeful he can try and convince Geet into making a comeback to the sport too.
"I will ask Geet to start again. I know he has a busy schedule but I'm confident that he will start sooner rather than later."