Kamani, Talwar triumph

Last Updated 27 January 2018, 13:20 IST

Defending champion Amee Kamani staged a spirited comeback to retain her title at the National Snooker Championship here.

After rallying to defeat Vidya Pillai in the semifinal on Friday evening, the Madhya Pradesh cueist produced another stellar show against Karnataka's Varshaa Sanjeev at the Karnataka State Billiards Association on Saturday.

In the best-of-seven frames, Varshaa was quick off the blocks with some aggressive potting and found herself 3-1 ahead and one frame short of clinching her first national title. But it wasn't to be as Kamani roared back to leave the game on a knife's edge at three apiece.

In the decider, Kamani, down 17-38, produced a fantastic break of 33 to seal the deal 4-3 (39-65, 67-21, 54-57, 43-48, 71-46, 59-24, 50-38) with the black ball still on the table.

What changed for the 25-year-old was some introspection when she was down in the dumps.

"At 1-3 I realised I had been putting extra pressure on myself since it was the final and that brought errors into my game. I then decided to play fearlessly and eliminate the pressure aspect. I thought to myself that Varshaa should the one feeling the pressure since she's playing the defending champion. Happy that it paid off eventually," she revealed.

The men's final was a contrasting affair as Chandigarh's Sumit Talwar notched a thoroughly dominant performance, beating Malkeet Singh 6-1 to claim his first snooker National title.

Talwar unleashed a host of big breaks, which on more than one occasion helped him keep his footing in the game and deflated Malkeet to large extent.

Leading 5-1, Talwar could see the finish line but a determined Malkeet sped to a  54-6 lead. But that was just the spur 35-year-old Talwar needed as he reeled off a 55-point break to shut out the game at 6-1 (57-49, 45-77, 66-39, 80-51, 76-44, 66-58, 61(55)-54).

Talwar said the time he spent on the pool table aided his potting but apart from that, there wasn't a great deal that he had specifically focused on.

"Playing pool has definitely helped when it comes to my potting skills. Otherwise, my stance and everything else more or less remained the same," he said.

Admitting he never imagined to come this far, Talwar said: "There are players like Pankaj (Advani) in the mix of things so I never thought I would progress past the quarterfinals. That said, I'm really happy to have won this title."

Results: Men's final: Sumit Talwar (CHG) bt Malkeet Singh (RSPB) 6–1 (57-49, 45-77, 66-39, 80-51, 76-44, 66-58, 61(55)-54).

3rd and 4th placing: Manan Chandra (PSPB) bt Shahbaaz Adil Khan (PSPB) 3-2 (31-67 (60), 72-18, 62-17, 27-67, 102-00).

Women's final: Amee Kamani (MP) bt Varshaa Sanjeev (KAR) 4-3 (39-65, 67-21, 54-57, 43-48, 71-46, 59-24, 50-38).

3rd and 4th placing: Vidya Pillai (KAR) bt Keerath Bhandaal (DEL) 2-1 (17-59, 62-49, 70-25).

(Published 27 January 2018, 13:20 IST)

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