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A first for Sourav

Sourav Kothari

Calcutta: Sourav Kothari claimed his maiden Asian Billiards Championship title, beating Alok Kumar in the final, in Chandigarh, on Friday.

Sourav won 6-3 (100-34, 100(94)-58, 101(101)-11, 59-100(53), 101(80)-06, 101(98)-09, 05-102, 09-104(83), 102(99)-00). Throughout the competition, Sourav had been in sizzling form, making short work of all his competitors.

But for Sourav, beating Thailand’s Praput Chiathanasukan in the semi-final was the toughest game and precious as well. “The scores in the quarters, semis and the final may suggest I’ve had things easy. But honestly, it wasn’t so… That’s because the field here was very difficult with renowned players of the world and some very talented cueists from our country as well.

“That said, I feel my 5-0 win over Praput in the semis was pleasing to say the least. The 5-0 scoreline came as a surprise to me more so, as Praput had beaten a player of Peter Gilchrist’s stature. And in the past on several occasions, Praput has made comebacks despite being 0-3 or 0-4 down. “So, beating him in that fashion was truly a big success on my part,” Sourav told The Telegraph.

Sourav’s next assignment is the Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt where he represents India at the June 18 to 29 World Team Snooker and World 6-Reds Snooker meets. “I’ll be back to Calcutta tomorrow for a couple of days.

“Thereafter, on the 16th, I’ll be heading for Cairo. I believe the success at this Asian championship will further add to my strength,” he said.