Varsha, Umadevi honoured

While the 14-year-old Varsha, who clinched the Sub-junior billiards and snooker, as well as the Junior billiards crowns, was awarded Rs 30,000, women’s billiards champion Uma was presented Rs 20,000.

Seven-time world champion Pankaj Advani -- who missed the felicitation function due to illness -- was presented with a momento for claiming his fifth National billiards title and 10th senior crown, while a clutch of other cueists who did the State proud were given a bouquet each. The affable B Bhaskar, who lost to PSPB’s Advani in the billiards final, snooker semifinalist IH Manudev, D Raj Kumar and youngsters Amit Bhushan, Nikihil Pise and Jasim Tawin received a bouquet each as powerhouse Karnataka reined in five out of the 12 titles that were in offer in Chennai.

“I was really confident of winning a title this time,” said three-time National champion Umadevi. “I had a very tough pre-quarterfinal match against (Tamil Nadu’s) Asha. I was down a frame and missed a simple shot when within three points of winning the second.

“Being 50-up and best-of-three frames format, it could hurt you and it nearly did when Asha raced away to 41 points. But she faltered with her next shot and I bounced back to book my place in the last-eight stage. Post the win, I knew I could do it,” added Umadevi.

Varsha said was really happy with her performance. “I aimed for four titles, but fatigue prevented me from defending my Junior snooker crown. I have generally been practising only billiards. I will now focus a lot more on snooker.”

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