Pankaj Advani savours ‘special feeling’ after somewhat unexpected triumph

28 November,2023 08:22 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sundari Iyer

Bangalore-based great over the moon after grand double of titles at the IBSF World Billiards Championship

IBSF World Billiards Championship (point-format) winner Pankaj Advani with his trophy. Pic/Pankaj Advani’s Instagram


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Ace India cueist Pankaj Advani has revealed that he didn't really expect his fifth grand double at the recently-concluded IBSF World Billiards Championship (point-format) in Doha.

Advani spoke to mid-day.com post his 5-0 triumph over compatriot Sourav Kothari. Advani had defeated Kothari in the longer format too. "Winning a grand double in billiards isn't easy. This is the fifth time I've been able to win in both formats at the same time after 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2018. Imagine someone telling you that you'll have 10 wins on the trot! I'll take that. It's a special feeling, I didn't expect it to be honest," Advani told www.mid-day.com.

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Interestingly, Advani's opponent in the final of both the longer and the point format was Kothari, who is his friend. "Sourav and I first started competing in 2002. We've been friends since then and competed many times. There is mutual appreciation and respect for each other's abilities. It's been that way till date.

"His father Manoj [Kothari], a former world billiards champion and chief national coach, has helped me immensely in my technique and honing my skills. A talented family, I must say," remarked Advani, who plans to spend time with family, friends and catch up on some sleep in the week-long break he has before heading to Chennai for the National Championships. "I also need to catch up on TV shows and other events that I don't keep track of while traveling/competing," he said.

Advani insisted this is the best phase of his career. "I haven't looked too far into the future. I'm just enjoying representing India and winning for my country. If you ask me, each world title is significant in my career. Right now, I am enjoying the best phase of my billiards career. My favourite world title would be the one I won in 2003 - IBSF world snooker title. That did wonders to my self-confidence at the tender age of 18," he signed off.

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