KARACHI: Pakistan cueist Majid Khan’s impressive run at the U21 Asian Snooker Championship ended at the final hurdle with the 19-year-old going down to Thailand’s Noppon SaengKham in the final of the event in Indore, India.
The see-saw battle saw the teenager missing out narrowly as he lost 6-5 in the best-of-11-frame encounter.
Majid began with confidence, gaining a 2-0 lead. However, both frames were close with the Pakistani winning the opener 63-62, before a break of 66 helped him win the second 66-12.
However, SaengKham heralded his intentions to win the title in the following frame, smashing a break of 58 to win 91-1. He registered another break of 54 in the next frame, winning it 76-63 to level the game.
With the battle tied 2-2, Majid regained the lead by clinching the fifth frame 73-24 but it was soon undone by the Thai cueist with a 64-48 win in the next frame.
The battle continued with the Pakistani winning the seventh frame but going down in the next. However, the situation changed and SaengKham secured the lead for the first time by winning the ninth frame 112-15 with the help off a 66-point break. But Majid made a comeback with a 72-24 win but nerves finally got the better of the cueist as he went down in the decider 63-46.
‘Event a glimpse of immense talent in Pakistan’
Meanwhile, IBSF world champion Mohammad Asif said the results obtained by Majid and teammate Humza Akbar, knocked out in the last-16, were satisfactory and was an indication that there was a lot of talent in the country.
“We have immense talent,” Asif told The Express Tribune. “These results came without much government support. Imagine the things our cueists can achieve after getting some assistance like players from India or other countries get.
“Both cueists especially Majid did very well. It’s never easy to do well at such a level without much international experience. I believe Majid was unfortunate to lose such a close match but the positive thing is that he has ensured a flow of young talent in the country.
“Our cueists have the potential to lead the world in this sport but they need the government’s support.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2013.