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Rafat made it easy for me: Yasin

Busan: The Dong-Ju College Gymnasium on the southern fringes of this picture-perfect harbour city was the scene of India’s maiden golden coup at the 14th Asian Games here tonight. Not surprisingly, it was a pair of men from a cue sport who took the honours.

Down a frame in which they were virtually white-washed, Yasin Merchant and Rafat Habib swung the pendulum back emphatically in their favour to master Hong Kong’s Marco Ka Chun Fu and Chi Wai Au 33-71, 74-20, 92-13, 78-21 in the snooker doubles final.

Merchant paid rich tributes to his partner after the come-from-behind triumph. “We won because of Rafat… he was simply superb and made it easy for me,” Merchant said of the Chennaite.

It was a long day for Merchant and Habib. They started early morning and came through three matches to make the final. “The quarter final was the toughest match, it was the turning point for us,” said Merchant.

It was a also perfect birthday gift for coach Michael Ferreira, the former billiards world champion who has been championing the cause of cue sport more than anyone else in the country.

EN ROUTE TO GOLD

Pre-quarter finals: bt Mohsen Aziz Bukshaisha & Ahmed Ali-Sada (Qatar) 3-1; Quarter finals: bt Tim Sang Chong & Ann Seng Ng (Malaysia) 3-1; Semis: bt Chih Wei Ku & Kun Fang Lee (Chinese Taipei) 3-0; Final: bt Marco Ka Chun Fu & Chi Wai Au (Hong Kong) 3-1.

n Leander injured and other reports on Page 25

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