THE WEEK THAT BELONG TO “GENIUS” PANKAJ ADVANI
PANKAJ is by far the best cueist India has ever produced. 15-time World Billiards and Snooker Champion, he is the only player in the world to win world titles in all formats of both, Billiards and Snooker.
Born on July 24’ 1985, he started interest in the game at the tender age of 10 when he use to visit Snooker Parlour near his home in Banglore with his elder brother Shree. Snooker master Arvind Savur spotted the talent in Pankaj and started training him with a dream of making him the World Champion.
In the year 2000 he won his first Indian Junior Billiards Championship title and then went on to win it consecutively for six years in the year 2001 ,2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 .
In 2003 he won the India Senior Snooker Championship which made him the youngest National Snooker champion at the age of 18.
The dream of winning the World Championship was fulfilled at the teen age of 18, when he won the IBSF World Snooker Championship in China on 25th October’2003.
“Golden boy” won the IBSF World Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, where he became the first to achieve a "grand double" by winning both the time and point formats, a feat he repeated at the 2008 event in Bangalore.
Advani also remains the only person to have won all five national, regional, and world billiards tournaments in a single season in the year 2005, a feat he achieved by winning the Indian Junior National Championship and Senior National Championship, the Asian Billiards Championship, and both the World Billiards Championship (point format) and World Billiards Championship (time format).
“The Prince of India” won Asian Billiards Championship for five times in total in the year 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012.
His total tally of 15 World Titles includes World Billiards Championship (Time Format) 7 times in the year 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2015. World Billiards Championship (Point Format) 3 times in the year 2005, 2008, 2014. He also won the World Team Billiards Championship in 2014.
The King of Cue Sports in India also lifted the IBSF World Snooker Championship trophies in the year 2003 and 2015. He is also twice the IBSF Six-Red Snooker World Champion in 2014 and 2015.
He also stamped his authority on Asian level by winning Gold Medals in English Billiards (Single Event) in Doha Asian Games in 2006 and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010. He also won the Australian Billiards Championship in his golden year 2008.
Pankaj’s awards and recognition
|Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award||2006|
|Rajiv Gandhi Award||2004|
|World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Award||2011|
|Teacher's Achievement Award Sports||2010|
|Sahara India Sports Award||2010|
|DNA Most Stylish Sportsperson Award||2010|
|Hero India Sports Award||2004|
|Indo-American Young Achiever's Award||2003|
While compiling the events of the week for my website section http://rkgsnooker.com/history.php?id=110 it came to my knowledge that in the last week of October, Pankaj has won four World Titles. His 11th World Billiards Championship (Time Format) title on 24.10.2014. He won IBSF World Snooker Championship on 25.10.2003 his first World Title. He also won World Billiards Championship (Time Format) beating Mike Russell on 28.10.2012. His fourth title of the week came on 29.10.2014 when he beats Robert Hall in World Billiards Championship (Point Format) for yet another World Crown.
I am sure with his hunger to succeed at World Level still very high as ever he needs a big home nearby his residence in Bengaluru to put all his Trophies and Awards till the time he retires, say in twenty years from now.
I met this wonder boy on several occasions in my life and always found him very soft spoken, graceful and calming personality even after achieving so much in his life.
HATS OFF TO YOU PANKAJ.
RAVINDRA KUMAR GUPTA