I am as hungry and motivated as I was when I won my first world title, says Pankaj Advani
After registering his 22nd world title which is also his fourth title in as many years, Pankaj Advani has said his motivation to win is as it was when he won his first world title back in 2003. Advani breezed past local favourite Nay Thway Oo 6-2 in the final match of the championship.
India’s poster boy of cue sports, Pankaj Advani, who registered his 22nd world title on Sunday, insists he is not done yet and is motivated enough to secure more titles and bring laurels to the country in the future.
“To be honest, I feel as hungry and motivated to win as I was when I won my first world title. The hunger and passion hasn’t diminished at all. It feels special to be able to maintain that position consistently and win title after title over the last one and half decade. I am glad that it’s happening more often than not,” Pankaj told the IANS.
Pankaj won a fourth straight final in the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship in a repeat of last year’s final against Nay Thway Oo of Myanmar. Pankaj wowed the crowd with his brilliant display and breezed past his opponent with a scoreline of 6-2.
This was Pankaj’s fifth title in the short form of billiards in six years.
“This 150-format, which is a shorter format in billiards, is very unpredictable. To maintain consistency in this format especially is an incredible feeling and winning the title for four years in a row,” he said while talking about the challenges he faced throughout the tournament.
The 34-year-old ace cueist has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014. Pankaj has been awarded both Padma Bhushan (2018) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (2005-06) and has proven to be the most consistent Indian athlete, prevailing in world championships since 2003.
Pankaj has won more world titles in cue sports than anyone in the world making him the greatest cueist of all time. He has described the sport as “very psychological in nature” and credited his world title victory as an 18-year-old teenager which, “instilled a tremendous amount of self-belief” in him to keep winning.
The ace cueist is expecting a tough challenge in the years to come and acknowledges the huge task for him to maintain his position as the world leader. “That excites me a lot and I am looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”