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Vidya Pillai, Anuja Thakur enter semifinals

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SETTING THE BALL ROLLING: The Joint Managing Director of The Hindu, N. Murali, inaugurates the National championship. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
SETTING THE BALL ROLLING: The Joint Managing Director of The Hindu, N. Murali, inaugurates the National championship. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

S.R. Suryanarayan

CHENNAI: Chennai's Vidya Pillai is by now well known in the cue sport. She is the reigning National snooker champion, but proved she could be adept in the three-ball event as well by moving into to the semifinal round in the women's section of the LIC-BSNL National billiards and snooker championship here on Monday.

Joining Vidya in the last four were defending champion Anuja Thakur (PSBB), her sister Meenal Thakur (Maharashtra) and M. Chitra of Karnataka.

But for sheer show of grit, Vidya took the honours in an interesting last-eight contest against Heena Khandelwal of Maharashtra. Heena had the knack of taking a handy lead, leaving Vidya pensive. Apparently not enjoying this form of the cue sport, Vidya hung on, lost the first game but got timely breaks thereafter and ensured she would be there for another fighting show on the morrow.

The young and the old

A feature in the women's section was the participation of an 11-year-old and an 80-year-old.

Vijaywada school girl Espar Buela and the grand old Kamala Chandrababu finished on the losing side but there was no mistaking their enthusiasm.

The highlight in the sub-junior section was the upset of top-seeded Ayush Kumar of Punjab by Varun Madhan of Delhi.

Earlier the championship was inaugurated by the Joint Managing Director of The Hindu, N. Murali.

The results: Billiards: Sub-junior boys (quarterfinals): Aditya Agarwal (Mah) bt Rouvin D'Souza (Mah) 88-80; Varun Madhan (Del) bt Ayush Kumar (Pun) 90-67; Pushpinder Singh (Del) bt B. Jagadeesh (TN) 118-33; Raunaq Vazirani (Guj) bt M.L. Venugopal (Kar) 125-58.

Pre-quarterfinals:

Rouvin D'Souza bt Samarjeet (TN) 105-42; Aditya Agarwal bt Syed Mansoor Iqbal (Kar) 131-47; Pushpinder Singh bt Dwaj Haria (Guj) 112-81; Ayush Kumar bt Nayan Agarwal (Mah) 98-62; Raunaq Vazirani bt Shabaz Adil Khan (WB) 106-75.

First round: Nayan Agarwal bt P. Tarun Kumar (TN) 68-51; Varun Madhan bt Amit Bhushan (Kar) 85-59; Dwaj Haria bt Aditya Navalkar (Kar) 97-41; Shabaz Adil Khan bt Ankit Baid (TN) 147-68; Syed Mansoor Iqbal bt V. Arun (TN) 62-27.

Women (quarterfinals): Anuja Thakur (Mah) bt Sri Devi (Kar) 51-8, 52-33; M. Chitra (Kar) bt Sangeeta Hemachandran (Mah) 51-33, 50-15; Meenal Thakur (Mah) bt Ashwini Puranik (MP) 50-29, 38-50, 51-11; Vidya Pillai (TN) bt Heena Khandelwal (Mah) 47-55, 51-35 50-30.

Pre-quarterfinals:

Sangeetha Hemachandran bt Suniti Damani (WB) 52-25, 51-32; Ashwini Puranik bt Asha (TN) 51-19, 51-24; Anuja Thakur bt Sowmini Srinivas (TN) 52-41, 50-4; Vidya Pillai bt Shabana Banu (AP) 45-27, 50-34; Meenal Thakur bt P. Agarwal (Ori) 50-36, 51-37; Heena Khandelwal bt Mehjabeen Raza (AP) 50-38, 51-37; M. Chitra bt Jagruti Patel (Mah) 53-45, 50-48.

First round: Sowmini Srinivas bt Espar Buela (AP) 51-8, 50-7; Jagruti Patel bt Shireen Banu (AP) 53-35, 52-44 Shabana Banu bt Neeta Kothari (WB) 27-53, 52-47, 52-34; P. Agarwal (Ori) bt Kamala Chandrababu (TN) 53-25, 24-51, 50-28.

Snooker: Junior boys (first round): Himanshu (Raj) bt Shivam Arora (Bih) 405-356; K. Agarwal (Ori) bt Shabaz Adil Khan (WB) 486-413; Faizal Khan (Del) bt Anand Bhatija (TN) 570-351; Vinay Chawla (Pun) bt Harshil Thakker (Guj) 404-320; Lucky Vatnani (AP) bt Pranit (TN) 556-364; Kisar Raoof (AP) bt Ajay Bhushan (Kar) 437-389.

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