'Best performance of my career'

Mehta elated with gold-medal victory in Columbia

'Best performance of my career'

Ace Indian cueist Aditya Mehta has described his gold medal-winning feat in the snooker event of the World Games at Cali, Columbia, as the “best performance of my career”.

Mehta made the whole country proud when he became the first Indian to win the World Games title after comfortably defeating his higher-ranked Chinese opponent and pre-tournament favourite Liang Wenbo in the summit clash of the quadrennial event on Wednesday night.

“This is my career’s best performance. I am delighted with this win,” said an elated Mehta.

“Fantastic day...A long awaited dream come true!!” Mehta later tweeted.
This is also India’s first medal since badminton star Prakash Padukone’s bronze in the inaugural edition of the World Games in 1981 and only second for the country in the history of the Games.

The Mumbai cueist, who won silver and bronze medals at the 2010 Asian Games, was in top form throughout the  five-day tournament and easily defeated his opponent in the final.

Mehta, ranked 74th in the world, managed to beat World No 64 Dechawat Poomjaeng, who had defeated another Indian and eight-time world champion Pankaj Advani 3-1 in the quarterfinals, and World No 19 Joe Perry en route his title triumph. Mehta proved his class once again and did not give his Chinese opponent a chance to make much of an impact in the final. Mehta made his intentions clear from the opening frame where he cracked a break of 84 points to gain the initial lead. He maintained the momentum in the next frame too where he made an excellent clearance of 40 points to put himself 2-0 ahead.

Wenbo had the only chance in the third frame to stay in contention but before he could do anything, Mehta crafted another massive break of 117 points to seal the match and gold medal for India.

Prior to this achievement, Mehta’s best performance at a rankings event was reaching the last-16 of China Open in Chengdu last year.

The World Games is an international multi-sport event for sports or disciplines not contested in the Olympic Games.

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