Goa to host Asian Billiards, Snooker Championship

Panaji: The 11th ONGC Asian Billards Championship and 13th ONGC Asian U-21 Snooker Championship will be held for the first time in Goa from April 2-8 at Clube Tennis de Gaspar Dias, Miramar.

It will hosted by the Billiards and snooker Association of Goa(BSAG) under the aegis of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) and is recognised by Indian Olympic Association and Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports, Thailand.

Around 13 countries will go head-to-head in one of the biggest billiards and snooker championships in Goa. In one of the strongest line-ups, players from Sri Lanka, China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India Iran, Thailand and the UAE will battle it out for the crowns.

Notable among the foreign players will be Hossein Vafaie (Iran), 2011 U-21 runner-up and current IBSF Snooker Champion; Noppon Saengkham(Thailand) number 2, 2011 IBSF runner-up; Zhang Anda(China), number 3, 2009 U-21 champion; Akhani Songsermsawad(Thailand), number 4, 2011 IBSF U-21 quarter finalist: Mohammed Lababi(Iran), number 5, 2011 ACBS U-21 snooker quarter-finalist;Ratchayothin Yotharak (Thailand), number 6, 2011 ACBS U-21 snooker last 16; Khalid Kamali (UAE), number 7, 2011 ACBS U-21 snooker last 16; Lalrina Rentheli (India), number 8, India number 1.

Players with seedings for Asian men billiards: Alok kumar(India), Praput(Thailand), Peter Gillchrist(Singapore), Pankaj Advani (India), International stars Anda Zhang of China, Noppon Saegkhon of Thailand, Hosein Vafaei of Iran, who recently won the IBSF World Snooker Championships would be seen in action on five tables, four sessions a day.

On home front, famous names like Alok Kumar, Pankaj Advani, Rupesh Shah, Devendra Joshi, Dhruv Sitwala and Arun Agarwal will cue up with likes of Peter Gilchrist (former World Billiards champion-Singapore), Praprut C (former IBSF world billiards champion-Thailand), Nguyen Thanh BInh (Vietnamese No.1) and Imran Shalzad (Pakistan No.1).

The U-21 snooker category from India will feature players like Laxman Rawat, Himanshu Jain, Lalrina Renthlei, Lalit Dahiya Mundir Sherazi and M L Laxman. The title sponsor is Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and the event is co-sponsored by Imperial Ocean and International Cruises Culinary Academy Pvt. Ltd.