KARACHI: Former world champion Mohammad Asif is looking to help Pakistan retain their Asian Snooker Championship title as the squad left for Qatar yesterday to participate in the 32nd edition of the tournament.
Hamza Akbar had won the competition last year but he will not be able to defend his crown as he is currently participating in the professional circuit. Pakistan, however, will field a four-member squad which includes Asif, Mohammad Sajjad, Sohail Shahzad and Mohammad Bilal.
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Asif has already won the IBSF World Championship, the IBSF World Team Championship, the Asian 6-Red Championship and now aims to add the Asian Snooker Championship to his collection.
“As always my aim would be to emerge as the winner of Asian Snooker Championship in Qatar,” Asif told The Express Tribune. “I never go into any competition to just participate as for me it’s always about walking out as a champion. This approach helps me maintain my focus and has been the reason for my past successes.”
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The players were training in Islamabad for the past few days before their camp was wrapped up as the PBSA accepted the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation’s (QBSF) request to hold a joint training camp in Doha and Asif hailed the move.
“It’s a good initiative to have a joint training camp as it will allow us to acclimatise to the conditions in Qatar and the tables. Sometime the tables behave differently so we’ve a good opportunity to settle down before the continental championship,” added Asif.
The team was originally expected to fly to Qatar on April 15, a day before the event, but with the team already having left for Qatar, only the staff, including PBSA President Alamgir Sheikh, the team manager and a referee, would travel on the abovementioned date.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2016.
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