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Billiards: Advani emerges World Champion

Billiards: Advani emerges World Champion

Leeds: Pankaj Advani won his seventh World billiards title when he outclassed defending champion Mike Russell 1,895-1,216 in the final here Sunday.

Leading 872-614 at the half-way mark in the five-hour match, the 27-year old Advani displayed greater consistency than Russell to repeat his 2009 victory against the 43-year-old Qatar-based Englishman, winner of 10 titles himself.

Advani's triumph completed a fine outing for the Indians as on Saturday, Rupesh Shah won the title in the 150-up points format defeating Australia's Matthew Bolton 6-2 in the final.

Advani thus justified his rather controversial decision to skip a professional snooker event in China that began Sunday for which he had qualified while opting to play in the World billiards championship.

Russell, who won the first his 10 World titles in 1989, was never quite in the match though he marked his presence in the early stages when he posted a break of 397 after Advani had jumped to a 400-point lead following a run of 298.

However, Advani made better use of his visits to the table by toting up points on virtually every opportunity to stay well clear of his rival.

There were moments in the match when Russell, who cracked the tournament's highest break of 740 in the semi-finals, looked to have regained his touch, but failed to attain the heights that had the experts hail him as one of the all-time greats.

Only during the triple century break did Russell showcase the flow and fluency of the old, but then on the day, it was Advani who dictated the course of the match with his consistency to clinch the title.

In the final hour, Russell all but threw in the towel as Advani extended his advantage on a couple of century breaks to snuff out the challenge.

The Bangalore-based Advani, besides winning the IBSF World snooker crown in 2003, subsequently annexed the World billiards titles in 2005 (time and points formats) and repeated the double in 2008, while claiming the time format title in 2007 before pocketing his maiden World professional title in 2009 by defeating Russell 2030-1253 in the final.


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