Indian cueist Pankaj Advani secured his 26th IBSF World Billiards Championship title in a remarkable comeback, defeating compatriot Sourav Kothari in the final. Trailing 26-180 in the first hour, Advani rallied to a convincing 1000-416 victory in a rematch of last year’s title clash in Kuala Lampur. The match showcased Advani’s resilience and skill, highlighting his dominance in the world of billiards.
In a dramatic turn of events, Advani found himself trailing 26-180 in the first hour of the match against the 2018 world champion, Sourav Kothari. However, displaying his trademark comeback prowess, Advani rallied to defeat Kothari with a convincing score of 1000-416. This victory marked a rematch of last year’s title clash in Kuala Lumpur, where Advani once again demonstrated his dominance on the world stage.
The match saw both players engaging in a back-and-forth battle, with Kothari allowed Advani to recover and take control of the game. Advani’s break of 214, the highest of the match, proved to be a turning point, making him look unstoppable. His consistent performance and a series of breaks, including a crucial unfinished break of 199, secured the title for Advani.
Advani emphasized the significance of consistency in achieving success. He acknowledged the hours of hard work dedicated to honoring his skills, body and mind, attributing his success to the commitment to bring home world titles for his country.
With little time to rest, Advani is set to participate in the next edition of the World Billiards Championship, featuring the short format, 150-up. This relentless pursuit of excellence showcases Advani’s dedication to his sport and his determination to maintain India’s prominence in the world of billiards.
Runner-up Sourav Kothari attributed his lose to fatigue, citing a challenging semifinal that stretched for almost five hours. Despite squandering his early lead in the final, Kothari expressed optimism about making amends in the upcoming point-format championship.
Kothari’s journey to the final included a grueling semifinal against Dhruv Sitwala, where he secured a close win with a score of 900-756. Advani’s semifinal performance was equally impressive, defeating Rupesh Shah with a commanding score of 900-273.
Having won his first world title in 2003, Pankaj Advani continues to elevate his game and maintain a superlative level of performance. With nine victories in the ‘long format,’ eight triumphs in the ‘point format’ and a World Team Billiards Championship title, Advani’s legacy as a pioneer in the 3-ball game is firmly established.