17-year wait ends as Pakistan wins Asian Snooker Championship


Pakistan’s Hamza Akbar beat Pankaj Advani India 7-6 to win the country’s first Asian Snooker Championship after a gap of 17 years after a hotly contested final in Kuala LumpurMalaysia on Thursday.

Hamza, who became the second Pakistani to win Asia’s top tournament after Mohammad Yousuf’s triumph in 1998, had stunned China’s Zhang Yong to reach the final against Indian maestro Pankaj Advani.

The 22-year-old, who became Pakistan’s youngest national champion at the age of 19, was coming off the back of a dream run, beating compatriots Shahram Changezi and Mohammad Asif en route to the 31st Asian Snooker Championship final.

Hamza Akbar and Shahram Changezi had earlier set up an all-Pakistani quarterfinal after beating their rivals comfortably

While Hamza prevailed over compatriot Asif 4-3 (29-97, 73-7, 46-75, 80-29, 66-2, 14-76, 68- 0), Shahram was also stretched to limits by his Indian rival Manan Chandra before winning 8-53, 44-71, 65-13, 7-57, 98-34, 72-13, 75-20.