Japan's Kamihashi, 13, makes heads turn

Japan's Kamihashi, 13, makes heads turn

Walking with his arms tucked into his father’s, Keishin Kamihashi gives you an impression that he is accompanying his parent competing in the masters segment of the IBSF World Snooker Championship here. Watch him wield the cue stick and that thought changes in an instant.

Although he didn’t set stage on fire, winning just one group match from six outings in the men’s category, the 13-year-old has created quite a buzz, thanks to his mannerisms and the joy he portrays so openly while playing.

Unlike teenage sensations Zhao Xintong (17 years) and Yan Bingtao (14), who have made waves in taking the men to task with their sizzling potting, Keishin has drawn his own set of admirers despite being well behind the Chinese duo.

Hopping and skipping around the table like a kid at a candy store, Keishin surprises you with his reading of the game, the gentleman attributes of greeting his opponent before and after the match and the urge to be always on the green baize.

“I love snooker and I want to keep playing,” Keishin said through translator Tetsuya Kuwata, himself a player participating here. “I started playing when I was 11 and I just got addicted to it.”

Kamihashi was introduced to the game by his father Histaka Kamihashi, a professional cueist running a pool parlour in Nagoya. Keishin, juggling snooker and studies brilliantly, picked up the game in quick time. His growth was evident at this year’s Japan Nationals where he beat his own father before losing to Tetsuya in the final.

“I know my kid is talented. I have big plans for him. Snooker is not so big in Japan and for him to grow, he needs to go to the United Kingdom, the home of snooker,” said a proud Histaka.

When asked how it felt to lose to his own son, Histaka replied: “Proud. Very proud. I’m just very happy for him.”

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