Newly-crowned World Professional billiards champion Pankaj Advani said his title would inspire others to take up the game and win more laurels for the country.
The 24-year-old cueist created history by becoming only the second Indian to win the just-concluded World Professional billiards championship title in Leeds after two-time world champion Geet Sethi in its 139 years of history.
The ace cueist from Bangalore pulled off a stunning 2030-1253 victory over nine-time world champion Mike Russell of Qatar in the finals at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, UK to lay hands on the coveted trophy.
“I am very happy and extremely excited because it is a huge milestone that I have achieved,” a visibly tired looking Advani told reporters.
“It is great for the game of billiards and it is great for all the cueists of the country. I hope my title adds inspirational value,” he said.
Advani said the scheduled of the tournament has totally drained him but he was enjoying every moment of the limelight he was getting.
“I am really tired at the moment. I do not know what I am speaking right now; I do not know where my thoughts are. But at the moment I am just enjoying every minute of the victory.
It is yet to sink in.
“The tournament has been really draining for me. I really had to dig deep to win some of my matches. All I can say is that I am very happy and I am extremely excited because it is a huge milestone,” he said.
“It’s always tough winning any world championship, simply because you have to beat the best in the business.
“It’s a great feeling and I can now play in peace because no body would come and tell me that I have not won a professional billiard title,” an ecstatic Advani added.
By virtue of his recent feat, Advani has now won all the major world titles. He is also the only player to have achieved a ‘grand double’ of both the points and time formats at the World Amateur Billiards Championship in 2005 and 2008 respectively.