Beijing: Rising Mumbai cueist Dhruv Sitwala stunned multiple world champion Pankaj Advani to win the ACBS Asian Billiards Championship and pocket his first international title here yesterday.
Indian cuiests dominated the event, which had three world champions -- Advani, C Praprut and Peter Gilchrist -- in the fray, as defending champion Sourav Kothari also clinched the bronze medal along with Thailand's Praprut. But it was Sitwala who emerged the champion after beating Advani 6-3 in the final.
Hungry for success after he went down to Advani 0-5 in the National Billiards final two months back, Sitwala raced to 3-0 in the best-of-11 frame final. But Advani replied with a break to make it 5-1 and the 12-time world champion won two more frames without letting Sitwala come on the table as the score read 5-3.
In the ninth frame, Advani missed a relatively easy shot on 98 and Sitwala seized the opportunity to make a 101 unfinished break to clinch the title. Sitwala, who was thrice runner-up in the world and national billiards, battled past Praput 5-4 in the semi-finals.
Sitwala was over the top after overcoming the multiple world champion. "I am on top of the world. The feeling though is yet to sink in. I had lost to Advani in the national billiards final and the memory was haunting me before the title clash," Sitwala told PTI.
Singapore cueist Gilchrist had lost to Praprut in the quarterfinals while Kothari was done in by Advani in the last-four clash.