Defending champion Pankaj Advani has reached the quarter-final stage of the Asian Snooker Championships after a narrow 4-2 win over Hong Kong player Tam Yun Fung in the round of 16 today.
In the quarterfinals which are supposed to be played based on the best of nine frames, Indian will face Iraq’s Alijalil Ali who comfortably won over Advani’s compatriot Laxman Rawat 4-0. In the last 16 stages, which is usually played based on the best of 7 frames, Pankaj beat Tam 33-70, 90-01, 74-60, 119(80)-08, 13-65, 55-24. Rawat lost to Ali 71-12, 66-44, 75-29, 72-61.
In the group matches, both Indians pocketed a century each. Laxman, who won the World 6Reds Championship in 2019, was in Group F and scored one against Saudi Arabia’s Omar Alajlani. Advani, who is a 23-time world champion, had one in his Group A encounter against Ali Hussein of Iraq. Advani is the only snooker player to have won tournaments in all formats of snooker, billiards, 6Reds and 10Reds.
Laxman return home while Advani stayed back to participate in the Qatar 6Red World Cup starting on Friday. Another Indian, Ishpreet Singh will play in the Qatar 6Red World Cup from September 17th to 21st. The other winners of the Round of 16 were Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh and Siyavosh Mozayani, Pakistan’s Haris Tahir, UAE’s representative Khalid Kamali, Saleh Mohammed of Afghanistan and Cheung Ka Wai of Hong Kong. This was the first snooker event since March of 2020 and 42 players from 19 Asian countries are participating. The final will be played on Thursday. This was also the first major tournament for Indian players since that time.
2012 Asian Champ and current world champion Aditya Mehta was supposed to compete here but was stopped due to being vaccinated with only a single dose, and the protocol states that travellers to Qatar will have to be fully inoculated.