Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003
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Billiards & Snooker
By V. V. Subrahmanyam
Capt. Mohan, tournament director, in an exclusive chat with The Hindu said all relevant papers for the two Pakistanis were cleared to facilitate their participation in the championship that has total prize money of about Rs.2 crores. The winner of the event will be richer by £ 2000 and the runner-up by £1200.
With the State Government giving all support to host this event at the Taj Krishna Hotel in the City, the organisers are breathing easy. "We are really grateful to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for his profound interest in promoting sports and this championship in particular," said Capt. Mohan.
He also said that all the eight world-class tables imported from Singapore have already arrived for the event that will be featured on the ESPN channel, although not live. Twelve sub-committees had been formed for the smooth conduct of the championship and for the first time the participants will be provided free accommodation and air travel by the organisers.
"This was primarily to ensure that the best in the world will take part," the tournament director said. Significantly, it is most likely that Hyderabad will also host the next edition of the World snooker championship as the world body seemed to be immensely pleased with the way the preparations are on for the billiards event.
As far as World billiards is concerned, it is being reiterated that the best two players from each country have sent their entries and the players were split into eight groups with the top player from each qualifying for the knock-out phase. The 150-up format will see the round-robin matches of best of five frames, the pre-quarterfinals and the quarterfinals best of seven frames, the semifinals best of nine frames and the final best of 11 frames.
The best news for the billiards players in the State is that it is most likely that the former world champion and chief coach, Michael Ferreira, will conduct some training sessions on a regular basis for the best of talent in the State.
"Depending on the progress they show, some of them will be even sent abroad for greater exposure," said Capt. Mohan. The Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh had also decided to take the sport to the districts by setting up atleast one billiards table in the each of the district sports authority complexes and take care of other basic requirements.
Group A: Geet Sethi (Ind), Mathew Bolton (Aus), Alex Borg (Malta), Li Kua Woo (Mym), Peter Francisco (SA) and Huang Chu Ho (S. Kor); Group B: Praput Chaithanskun (Thai), B. Bhaskar (Ind), John McIntyre (N. Ire), Hekta (Ina) and Eduaruo Guillem (Esp); Group C: Devendra Joshi (Ind), Wayne Carey (NZ), Mohammed Yousuf (Pak), Mark Boyle (Sco) and Hasan Manfal (Ina); Group D: Dhruv Sitwala (Ind), David Cauiser (Eng), Roy Lattimer (N.Ire), Martin Spoormanns (Bel), Tariq Samsoden (SA) and Loon Hong Moh (Mal).
Group E: Nalin Patel (Ind), John Hartley (Eng), Eugene Hughes (Rep. Ire), Pankaj Advani (Ind), T. Sujarlithurakaran (Tha) and Kimdo Hue (S.Kor); Group F: Joe Minici (Aus), Ian Williamson (Eng), James Moore (Rep. Ire), U Aung San Oo (Mym) and Yeo Teck Shen Glenn (Sin); Group G: Ashok Shandilya (Ind), Paul Bennet (Eng), Gary Oliver (NZ), Khurram Hussain Agha (Pak), Duncan Bezzina (Malta) and N.N.G. Samarawicrama (SL); Group H: Steve Mifsud (Aus), Alok Kumar (Ind), Lee Lagan (Eng), Stephen Baillie (Sco), K.H. Srisoma (SL) and Soh Chye Hian (Sin).
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