Tirapongpaiboon wins Asian 6 Red honours in Doha
September 26 2018 12:52 AM
Asian 6 Red Championship winner Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (background, left) of Thailand, runner-up Mohamed Bilal (background, right) of Pakistan, Asian Team Snooker Championship winners Mohamed Asif (background, second from left) and Babar Masih (background, third from left), runners-up Pankaj Advani (background, second from right) and Manan Chandra (background, third from right) pose with International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) president Mubarak al-Khayarin (foreground centre), Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS) president Mohamed Salem al-Nuaimi (foreground, second from right) and other officials yesterday.

By Mikhil Bhat/Doha

In the ninth frame of the Asian 6 Red Championship final, Pakistan’s Mohamed Bilal was putting together a comeback after being 3-5 down. A 32-point break had put him 33-0 up in the frame with only the coloured balls left.
However, the 33-year-old missed potting the yellow. A couple of shots later, his opponent, Thailand’s Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon, snookered Bilal on the yellow and snapped his first points when the Pakistani player fouled on it.
Thirapongpaiboon looked at the scoreboard, and found the cue favourable for him and began potting the rest, eventually taking the frame by 1 point at 34-33.
“That was a key shot for me,” Thirapongpaiboon told Gulf Times, referring to the snooker shot, after his 7-3 win in the tournament at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation Hall yesterday.
“I… ahh… don’t know how to say,” he just smiled with lot of relief and happiness.
In the next frame, Bilal tried paying back with a snooker of his own as the game was at 34-0 in favour of the Thai player.
A couple of fouls by Tirapongpaiboon and a 14-point break later, the score was at 34-31, but it wasn’t enough to prolong the game.
Tirapongpaiboon potted the pink to take the frame, and with it his first Asian title in four years.
“I am really happy. It’s been a long time since I won a big tournament in Asia, but I am really happy,” he said.
Tirapongpaiboon had won the Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship in 2014 and the World Under-21 Snooker Championship in 2011.
“There was a lot of pressure but today I felt that I was a bit lucky. Bilal is a really good player, I am very happy that I played really well,” he added.
Talking about the tournament and the facilities, the Thai player said, “Qatar have organised a really good tournament, a great venue, and I really like coming here to play tournaments. I would like to thank all the fans who came here each day to support me.”
Earlier in the day, Tirapongpaiboon had eased past Pakistan’s in-form Babar Masih, who had been unbeaten in the tournament so far, 6-1 in the semi-finals.
Bilal had booked his place in the final with a 6-4 victory over Hong Kong’s 19-year-old Cheung Ka Wai.
The prize distribution ceremony for the tournament and the Asian Team Snooker Championship, which immediately preceded the 6 Red event and concluded on Friday, was held yesterday.
Present at the ceremony were International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) president Mubarak al-Khayarin, Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS) president Mohamed Salem al-Nuaimi, Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation (QBSF) president Mohamed Mubarak al-Ramzani and other officials.
Starting today, QBSF Hall will also host the first edition of the ACBS Asian Tour 10 Reds Championship, with as many as 24 top players.
“It’s the first of its kind international tournament in the world, and the first time Qatar will be hosting it. I think it is a very tough tournament, the very best 24 players from the region, Asia and IBSF will play in Doha,” al-Khayarin told Gulf Times.
The 24 players have been divided into eight groups of three each, with the top two players making it to the last 16 stage. The tournament will conclude on Saturday, September 29.
Four players — Ahmed Saif, Ali al-Obaidli, Mohsen Bukshaisha and Mhanaa al-Obaidli — will represent Qatar in the tournament.
“I hope the Qatar team does well in this tournament. It is not an easy tournament for us. If our players make it to the top eight, I think it will be a very good result for us,” Khayarin said.

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