KARACHI: Pakistan’s Abdul Raheem got off to a winning start on Monday in the maiden IBSF U18 Championship being played in St. Petersburg, Russia after seeing off home boy Kirill Krasuk 3-0 in his Group D match.
Raheem had little problem in winning the match as he was only put under serious pressure in the third frame, eventually winning with scores of 73-39, 69-05 and 43-31.
The youngster is placed alongside the Russian duo of Krasuk and Vasili Dimitrenko in the group, while others include India’s Vishvas Mangla and Nicolas Mortreux.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Mohammad Saqib had a superb outing in his first match against Russia’s Semen Pechatnikov as he also won 3-0, scoring over 100 points in all the frames.
Saqib won his Group C opener 108-10, 118-06 and 118-0 (91). He will take on Pechatnikov, Iran’s Erfan Naderi and Lithuania’s Nikita Kolpacenko in the remaining matches of his group.
Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) President Alamgir Sheikh, who is travelling with the duo, stated that the players have started off well but the real challenge will come as the event progresses.
“Players as young as 12 are in the competition right now, so I think the real challenge would begin at the knockout stage,” said Sheikh. “Our focus has shifted to working on youth, and these kinds of championships will be a big help. The PBSA wants to start an U18 national championship as well, so this world championship would be a big incentive for us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2015.
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