The Indian Pankaj Advani has won the world billiards title beating defending champion Mike Russell in the final in the U.K. on October 28.
Pankaj Advani, aged 27, defeated 10 times champion Mike Russell by 1,895 points to 1,216, according to the BBC. Advani had previously won the title in 2009.
The tournament took place at the Northern Snooker Center in Leeds and involved 65 players from 15 countries.
For those unfamiliar with billiards (or English billiards as it is sometimes known), it is the parent game of pool, snooker and carom. For the game there are two cue balls (nowadays one white, one yellow) and a red object ball. Each player uses a different cue ball. It is played on a billiards table with the same dimensions as a snooker table (approximately 12 feet by 6 feet) and points are scored for cannons (where a player’s cue ball hits his opponent’s cue ball and the red ball in the same stroke) and pocketing the balls.
The final began as a closely fought contest, during which Russell scored the highest break with a run of 397. However, Advani streamed ahead in the second session running out several breaks of over 100.
On winning the title, Advani told World Billiards:
“I am so pleased to have won my seventh world title. I took a gamble choosing to play the World Championships here in Leeds forgoing the International Championship in Chengdu, Chinaon the Professional Snooker tour and I am glad that the decision paid off.
“I took a tough call earlier this year to play both Billiards and Snooker at the highest level, and I am glad that I have been able to maintain top form in both the games.
“This victory like every other shall be treasured yet has its own special meaning given the unique challenges I have faced this year. This win is a testament that if you follow your heart, nothing’s impossible,”
Pankaj Arjan Advani is India's top billiards player and he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna medal by the Indian government in 2006 (India's highest sporting honour). As well as an accomplished billiards player, he is also a snooker professional.