Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)

Ahram Weekly

The charm of billiards in Sharm

Sharm El-Sheikh is hosting the 2016 World 6Red and Snooker Championship, reports Abeer Anwar

Al-Hareedi
Al-Hareedi
Al-Ahram Weekly

Pyramisa Hotel and Resorts in Sharm El-Sheikh is currently hosting the 2016 International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) World 6 Red&Team Snooker Championship from 20 -30 July.

Players are competing in five disciplines. Cueists fell in 32 groups. Three players from each group qualified to the knockout stage.

The defending champion of 6Red, Pankaj Advani, who had won the title in the last two editions, was one of the participants. Egyptian Wa’el Talaat, who holds the Guinness record of highest breaks (83), was also starring.

South Sinai Governor Khaled Foda attended the opening ceremony. “Sharm El-Sheikh pays great interest in hosting all sports events and gives a helping hand to all those interested in hosting international events in the city. We are always eager to send a message to the world that the Red Sea pearl is the land of peace and security and is always opening its arms to welcome everybody. Such sports events attract a number of tourists that convey the message abroad,” Foda said.

Emad Farid, Pyramisa marketing manager, welcomed everybody and wished all a good stay at Pyramisa which he said is willing to host all international events and accommodate all participants. Farid also announced that he agreed that the 2017 championship will be held in Pyramisa Aswan inApril.

Maxime Cassis, the vice president of IBSF, thanked all IBSF member countries who sent their players to Egypt and squashed rumours over travelling concerns to Egypt. He also appreciated the efforts of the Egyptian and African billiards federations under the leadership of Mohamed Kammah “to promote our sport in the region”.

Hesham Lotfi, Al-Ahram Advertising Agency manager that sponsored the event which is hosting 179 players from 27 countries, said Al-Ahram Organisation was always ready to organise and sponsor such events “because we want a very good image about Egypt in general and the Red Sea resort in particular. We have been organising a number sports events that help to attract the world to Egypt and its secure atmosphere. All big organisations should play a role in their country’s progress and leadership,” Lotfi said.

In the matches, Egyptian star Mahmoud Al-Hareedi shocked the former world Under-21 snooker champion Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon of Thailand, defeating him 4-2.

Al-Hareedi already knew the strength of Thirapongpaiboon and so set the strategy of this match. He started by winning the first two frames 43-9, 38-18 to take a 2-0 lead but Thirapongpaiboon returned with a break of 56 in the fourth frame to level the game at two. In the next two frames, Al-Hareedi kept his nerve and moved for ball to ball to secure the next two frames to defeat Thanawat 4-2.

Talaat failed to save his match against Iranian Amir Sarkhosh to disappointment his Egyptian fans as their star player.

Sarkhosh had an initial break of 33 points to pocket the first frame but in the next two frames he went down and trailed 1-2.

In the fourth frame, Sarkhosh once again crafted a modest break of 40 points to win the frame. He also pocketed fifth frame to gain a 3-2 lead. At that stage, Talaat once again bounced back to seal the sixth frame and set decider.

The decider frame was close but in the end it was Sarkhosh who scored the points to win 35-22 and the match 4-3.

Daria Sirotina of Russia and Waratthanun Sukritthanes of Thailand scored the same points in their respective matches, the new highest break of the Women 6Reds Tournament.

Sirotina, while playing against Tracey Baylis of Australia, crafted 53 points break in the second frame and at the same time Sukritthanes also crafted a similar break on the adjacent table against Armaghan Hassani of Iran.

Both finally won their matches. Sirotina won by a straight set of three frames while Sukritthanes gave away one frame before winning 3-1.

Meanwhile, Ng On Yee of Hong Kong showered breaks of 35, 31 and 30 points in all three frames she played against Neeta Sanghvi of India. She was in superb form and easily maintained the proper position for the next shot after each ball she potted.

In a closely fought battle of Women 6Red, Indian Suniti Damani shocked former European champion Tatjana Vasiljeva 3-2. This was a high quality match where both the players tightened the strings from the very first frame.

The first frame Damani won on black ball and Vasiljeva countered the same in the next to come at par. The third frame was also close and went in favour of Damani, but in the next frame Vasiljeva returned with more force and crafted a break of 33 points to win and level once again.

The decider was exciting. Damani was trailing by 20 points and played some magnificent shots to go ahead but when she required only pink, she missed the long shot.

In need of pink and black, Vasiljeva played an excellent shot to pot the pink but missed the crucial black. Damani did justice with that and caused a major upset.

Darren Morgan of Wales hit the first maximum (75). He did it in the very first frame of his match, beating Egypt’s Hussein Abdu while setting a new highest break of the competition. With this Morgan outshone the high break set by Brian Cini of Malta, who scored 72 on first day of play.

Morgan did not stop there and continued showing his excellence. He further crafted excellent breaks in the second and fourth frames, scoring 56 and 70 points clearance to win the match 4-0.

Laxman Rawat from India also crafted a break of 70 points while playing against George Hanna of Egypt. He made the break in the fourth frame of the match to close the proceedings 4-0.

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