I'm in 7th heaven: Pankaj Advani
Cue ace chuffed after beating Peter Gilchrist 6-2 to be crowned world champ
Leeds: India's numero uno all-rounder of cue sports Pankaj Advani is in seventh heaven after adding yet another world title to his kitty following his World Billiards Championship triumph in the 150-up points format.
"I'm in seventh heaven! I returned to India to focus on this very event and it has paid off. Gilchrist was the most dangerous competitor in the tournament and in a dream final I am happy with the way I performed," said an elated Advani after clinching his record 11th world title.
As a gift to the nation on Diwali, Advani conquered Singapore's Peter Gilchrist 6-2 in the finals of the shorter format of billiards on Friday, the 150-up billiards championship.
While Advani had lost to Gilchrist in the league stage 2-3, the Indian seemed determined to reverse the outcome in the most crucial match of the tournament.
Advani has won three different world titles — the IBSF World 6-Red Snooker, World Team Billiards and World Billiards Championship (point format) this year — an unprecedented record in itself.
With little time to celebrate as the time format started on Saturday, Advani is keeping his emotions in check to concentrate on the task at hand.
"The job is only half done. I have to now focus on the longer format and try for a double so celebrations will have to wait. But no complaints," said the 29-year-old cueist from Bangalore.
Opting out of the professional snooker circuit in the UK, Advani chose to return to India to focus on billiards along with snooker (as opposed to only snooker) and represent India in all the majors, a decision that proved right yet again.
"Normally people specialise in one sport and here I am trying to juggle with two. I can definitely tell you that it's not as simple as it looks.
The technique is totally different when you are playing billiards and then you suddenly switch to snooker. And then the format change is also not easy to handle," Advani had said before the tournament.
"Of course, winning is very, very important. Initially winning is all you want, because you want to prove yourself. But over a period of time, I realised that it's about the best you can possibly be.
But now it's not all about numbers and it's about evolving. I am looking at improving with every game and every tournament I play," he said.
The age at which Pankaj Advani won his first world title - the 2003 World Snooker C'ship in Jiangmen, China
Fresh from winning the points format title, Pankaj Advani began his campaign in the timed format of the World Billiards Championship with a workmanlike 701-510 win over fellow Indian Arun Agarwal in a Group C league match here on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Advani posted a best break of 128 while getting past Agarwal while elsewhere Dhvaj Haria, Alok Kumar, Dhruv Sitwala, Rupesh Shah, Devendra Joshi and Ashok Shandilya also came through their respective opening league matches.