Vidya keen to go all the way in home bash

Eves notch up impressive total before reducing visitors to 85/3

Vidya keen to go all the way in home bash

While much of the spotlight is going to be thrust on the golden boy of Indian cuesports Pankaj Advani when the IBSF World Snooker Championship kicks off on Wednesday, one cueist who will be leading the ladies’ charge is Vidya Pillai.

Although the eight-time national snooker champion is yet to lay her hands on an individual world championship title, the 36-year-old mother of one is determined to go beyond the two bronze medals she has won so far.

“Of course anybody who plays the game wants to be the champion,” Vidya said on Monday. “We love to win medals at the Asian Indoor Games and the team chamionships, but when you are playing the worlds, you are playing the best from every participating country. Winning the World Championship has always been my dream.

“We did win the gold last time but it was in Team Championship. I’ll give it my best shot. I’ve trained hard despite the shortcomings. Time has been the biggest constraint (since marriage and kid) but with whatever time I’ve had, I managed to train as hard as possible,” added Vidya, who won a bronze medal each at the 2010 (Syria) and 2012 (Bulgaria) editions.

Vidya, who has been able to practice for just two hours a day owing to her family commitments, felt her strongest challenge will come from Hong Kong and Thailand cueists.

“Hong Kong cueists pose a strong challenge, especially (Ng) On Yee. Ever since her debut in 2006 in Jordan, she has been making rapid strides. She is a fantastic competitor and always brings out the best out of you. The reigning World 6-red snoooker champion, Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan of Thailand, is also a strong contender.”

Vidya also said Advani, the leading contender in the men’s segment, is a sort of an inspiration for her.

“It (cue sports) is an individual sport. I don’t think one person’s game has any bearing on the other. Having said that, most of us aspire to be Pankaj Advani. We are proud to be just associated with the sport he plays. Many times, we get knocked out in the pre-quarters or quarters but he’s there to win a medal for us.”

In an experimental move, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India is staging the event at a stadium -- the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium -- choosing to move away from a hotel or a club.

Vidya said it won’t make much of difference as they’ve gotten used to stadium atmosphere.

“Last year’s worlds at Latvia was held in a stadium and so was this year’s 6-red snooker in Egypt. It’s not something that we are alien to. There is a lot of difference. Sometimes it gets very chilly, lights could be different etc. It all depends on how quickly you can get adjusted to.”

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