Karnataka's Uma Devi dismissed defending champion Meenal Thakur's challenge 3-0 (75-45, 76-61, 76-34) in a fairly one-sided final, to claim the women's billiards title at the Hash10-National championships here on Thursday. This was Uma Devi's third National billiards title, to go with the ones she won in 2002 and 2008.
Uma Devi started off the best-of-five frames (75-up) contest briskly, with early breaks of 30 and 16. Though Uma Devi's form tapered off a bit towards the end of the frame, Meenal Thakur did little to take advantage.
The defending champion from Maharashtra registered just one break of over 10 in the first frame, surrendering it 75-45.
The second frame was more evenly contested with Meenal even taking the lead at 55-46. She stalled when she had to push on to close the frame out, and paid the price as Uma Devi came from behind to nick it 75-61.
The third frame was the shortest of the lot with Uma Devi sealing the match with successive breaks of 32, 18 and 10.
In the play-off for the third-fourth place, Delhi's Keerath Bhandal, losing finalist in the sub-junior girls' billiards division, was impressive in her upset 2-1 (7-52, 50-21, 51-47) win over the vastly more experienced Chitra Magimairaj, a former World billiards champion.
Despite conceding the first frame 7-52, the 14-year-old did well not to lose her composure, winning the second and taking the contest to a decider. The third frame was a scrap, with both cueists missing several chances to claim third spot, and it was Keerath who finally made her visit to the table count.
Earlier, the first semifinal saw Meenal Thakur defeat Chitra Magimairaj 3-2, with three of the five frames going down to the wire. In the other semifinal, Keerath ran Uma Devi close in the first frame, but ultimately lost out 3-0.
The results (billiards):
Women's senior final (best-of-five frames, 75-up): N. Uma Devi (Kar) bt Meenal Thakur (Mah) 3-0 (75-45, 76-61, 76-34). Third-fourth place play-off (best-of-three frames, 50-up): Keerath Bhandal (Del) bt Chitra Mahimairaj 2-1 (7-52, 50-21, 51-47).
Semifinals (best-of-five frames, 75-up): Meenal bt Chitra 3-2 (22-75, 75-69, 75-26, 66-76, 75-68); Uma Devi bt Keerath 3-0 (76-67, 76-38, 75-23).
Quarterfinals (best-of-three frames, 50-up): Meenal bt Neena Praveen (TN) 2-1 (52-23, 37-51, 51-33); Chirta bt I. Lahari (AP) 2-0, 50-32, 51-31; Keerath bt Vidya Pillai (TN) 2-0 (52-18, 51-45); Uma Devi bt Arantxa Sanchis (Mah) 2-1 (51-19, 23-51, 52-16).
Keywords: Hash10-National championships