Asif wins world snooker title
KARACHI, Dec 2: Riding on the crest of a wave, Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif did the nation proud on Sunday when he emulated the feat of veteran cueist Mohammad Yousuf by claiming the world snooker title in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.
Pakistan’s ace cueist fought bravely to overcome Gary Wilson of England 10-8 in the best of 19 frames marathon that lasted well over nine hours in two sessions. The eventual champion led 6-3 at the end of the first session.
Asif stayed unbeaten in the competition.
“I was confident to win the title after making it to the final of an international event in Dubai earlier this month,” a jubilant Asif told Dawn from the venue soon after the victory.
Earlier, he sent Alex Borg of Malta packing with an emphatic 7-1 victory to cruise into the final. He won the best of 13 frames semi-final 95-42, 48-39, 72-32, 55-65, 99-36, 89-29, 69-0, 85-5.
Pakistan emerged on the horizon of global snooker in 1994 when Mr Yousuf won the world title at Johannesburg. He also pocketed Asian and world master’s titles.
Saleh Mohammad, who has now gone to Afghanistan, also made it to the final of the world snooker championship in Jingling, China, in 2003 where he lost to young Indian opponent Pankaj Advani 6-11.
Pakistan snooker team and officials are due to arrive here by a flight of Qatar Airways early on Tuesday morning.
Mohammad Asif bt Gary Wilson (England) 10-9 (73-36, 11-72, 67-29, 72-2, 39-79, 43-71, 67-27, 81-41, 106-29, 8-106, 78-47, 85-1, 1-111, 8-104, 4-64, 67-80, 69-32, 23-89, 69-12).
Semi-final: Mohammad Asif bt Alex Borg (Malta) 7-1 (95-42, 48-39, 72-32, 55-65, 99-36, 89-29, 69-0, 85-5).
The World Snooker Championship, also known as the World Amateur Snooker Championship, is the premier non-professional snooker tournament in the world. The event is sanctioned by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSFF. A number of IBSF champions have gone on to successful careers in the professional ranks, notably Jimmy White (1980), James Wattana (1988), Stuart Bingham (1996), Stephen Maguire (2000) and Mark Allen (2004). However, only the 1989 IBSF champion, Ken Doherty, went on to win the Pro World Snooker Championship, held in 1997.