Olympics, not the ultimate for Indiain cueist Pankaj Advani
Cueist Pankaj Advani, who recently clinched the 16th World title of his career, says glory after every four years should not be rated higher than consistent performances by sportspersons
Cueist Pankaj Advani poses with his world billiards medal during an event yesterday. Pic/SNEHA KHARABE
India's top cueist Pankaj Advani, who won his 16th World title in his hometown Bangalore recently, said that too much emphasis on major events like Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games adds a lot of pressure on sportspersons.
"If we are measuring sporting excellence based on what happens once in four years, then we really need to introspect. It's not just about the Olympics. If that was the case why don't we just compete in Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and not compete in other championships? We need consistent world-beaters year after year," said Advani at a press conference yesterday.
Consistency is the key
The 31-year-old cueist said that it's difficult to keep winning consistently in comparison to winning a single medal in four years.
"The onus on athletes is too much when he reaches the Olympics. Everything hinges on that one performance. A person, who may be ranked 150-200 in the world, can probably have a brilliant day and then win a gold medal, but that does not make him or her the greatest sportsperson. In fact, it's more difficult to win consistently year after year than winning a medal once in four years," said Advani, who recently won the World Billiards 150-up format title.
Advani suggested that sports federations should learn from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on how to run a sport in our country. "Of course cricket is the No. 1 sport in India and I have nothing against it. In fact, other federations need to take a leaf out of BCCI's book on how to run a sport," he added.
Juggling different formats
Advani said he was glad to have managed to juggle his way between different cue sports — from long and short formats of billiards to corresponding formats in snooker.
"I am so happy I have been able to win World titles in all formats; the short format in snooker — six-red or 15-red — or point-format in billiards or the traditional. The techniques, scoring pattern and approach are different. Snooker is more of a hit-and-run game and it's more tactical whereas billiards involves long periods of concentration, endurance and flow. They are completely different sports and that's the biggest challenge. I am enjoying this as it keeps me on my toes," added Advani.
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