ANTALYA     -    Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif has won the IBSF World Snooker Championship (amateur), beating Jefrey Roda of Philippines 8-5 in the final on Saturday.

This is Asif’s second IBSF World title. He won the same title in 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The championship was held in Antalya, the coastal city of Turkey at the Starlight Hotel Resorts.

Asif played against Philippines player Jefrey Roda who also secured any medal for his country after a gap of 27 years.

The country’s number one cueist, who remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, kept the momentum in the final as well to outclass his opponent.

In the start it looked easy win for Asif when he obtained quick three frames lead but Jefrey made a strong comeback into the game with a century break of 105 points. Later they both countered each other to reach 7-5 in favour of Asif. 13th frame was crucial where Jefrey fought hard but Asif held his nerve better towards the end and succeeded to win 8-5.

Asif won the first three frames to take an early lead of 3-0 with frame scores of 68-35, 88-00 and 69-1. Roda then made a comeback but couldn’t overcome Asif’s lead. Asif played a break of 105 in the fifth frame to minimise his deficit to 3-2, only to get it increased before the break as he made it 5-2 by the seventh frame. The Pakistani continued his form post-break to take it to 6-2.

Roda played a break of 71 in the ninth frame, but Asif responded well in the 10th to keep his lead. With the Pakistani cueist just one frame away from his title, Roda gave Asif a scare and broke his momentum by winning back-to-back frames, making it 7-5.

But the 13th frame ended up being the decisive one. Roda conceded the game with pink and black balls remaining on the table and Asif keeping a lead of 17 points. Asif completed the best-of-15 frames win with 8-5 in less than five hours with scores of 68-35, 88-0, 69-17, 28-73, 5-118, 93-0, 69-1, 72-57, 10-93, 77-04, 21-65, 54-66 and 68-51.

In a message sent to the media following his win, Asif said that he was dedicating this win to the people of Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. “This wasn’t an easy tournament for me, but I was focused to win for my country,” he said.

Ministrer for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza conveyed appreciation to Asif. “It gives me immense pleasure, to congratulate Muhammad Asif -snooker player of Pakistan upon winning the World Snooker Championship Title 2019 for Pakistan in Antalya Turkey. I also wish to congratulate the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association and its Office bearers on this great achievement of snooker player Muhammad Asif for the country.”

Meanwhile, Ng On Yee from Hong Kong and Suckakree Poomjang of Thailand also won the the World Snooker Championship 2019 in their respective categories of Women and Masters categories.

Women player Ng On Yee of Hong Kong also lifted her world snooker title after a gap of 9 years. This is her 3rd world title after first in India in the year 2009 and then in 2010 at Syria. She outplayed Thai girl Nutcharat Wongharuthai 5-2 in the final. She was down 2 frames and then rallied breaks of 42, 30, 30 68 and 60 to outclass Thai challenge Nutcharat.

For the Masters category, Suckakree Poomjang of Thailand won his maiden world snooker title by defeating Indian player Alok Kumar 6-2. Alok won first frame and was in strong position to win second but Suckakree snatched that to level and then he went all along to win frames over frame and obtained 5-1 lead. Though Alok sent recovery in seventh frame with two breaks of 46 and 41 but that was too late as Suckakree sent another break of 59 in 8th frame to secure title.

From IBSF Mubarak Al-Khayarin (President), Jim Leacy (Vice President) and Ajeya Prabhakar (Executive) were present at the Medal ceremony alongwith President of Turkish Billiards Federation Ersan Ercan and other dignitaries.