Sitwala, Sethi, Advani start with a bang

Mumbai: World billiards finalist Dhruv Sitwala, former champion Geet Sethi and Pankaj Advani began their campaign impressively by outplaying their rivals by huge margins on the first day of the World Billiards Championships that got underway at Leeds (England) yesterday.

Sitwala whipped Ryan Mears of England 702-134, Advani routed Martin Schmidt of Austria 874-147 and Geet Sethi virtually toyed with England rival Jonathan Evans in a 687-168 win.

However, another India stalwart Devendra Joshi lost the opening tie narrowly to Michael Pearson of Australia 403-446, according to information available here.

National women`s champion Arantxa Sanchis started on a losing note, beaten by Mears 206-368.

The newly-formed World Billiards Limited has brought together the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) events for a first-ever unified world Championship.

Till last year, there were two different bodies - IBSF and WPBSA - which were organising three different world championships.

Nine cueists took part in the qualifying stage and Indian duo of Manish Jain and Jaiveer Dhingra along with Englishmen Martin Goodwill and Ian Williamson gained berths in the draw. Goodwill defeated India`s Alok Kumar to make the grade.

For the first time, 18 Indian cueists are taking part in the world championship which has attracted 65 players from 15 nations.

Results of Indian players: Dhruv Sitwala bt Ryan Mears 702-134; Arun Agarwal bt Phil Mumford 540-317; Nalin Patel bt Derek O?Neill 617-89; Pankaj Advani bt Martin Schmidt 874-147; Devendra Joshi lost to Michael Pearson 403-446; Jaiveer Dhingra lost to Michael Pearson 209-500.

Sourav Kothari bt Phil Davis 602-121; Siddharth Parikh bt Jonathan Bagley 403-288; Geet Sethi bt Jonathan Evans 687-168; Alok Kumar lost to Martin Goodwill 220-453; Ashok Shandilya bt Roberet Hall 429-218; Arantaxa Sanchis lost to Ryan Mears 206-368; Balachandra Bhaskar bt Rick Kendall 581-142.

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