KARACHI: Former IBSF World Champion Muhammad Asif is confident that he can win the 31st Asian Snooker Championship, which will be played from April 23-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Asif already possesses the IBSF World Championship, World Team Championship and Asian 6-Red titles, but the cueist has failed to win any major events in almost two years.
The 31-year-old said that the 15-day long training camp has provided participants Asif, Hamza Akbar and Shahram Changezi the practice they need. “I haven’t won a major championship for the past 18-20 months so I’m targeting the Asian Championship title,” Asif told The Express Tribune.
“We’ve had good practice in the 15-day camp, which is probably the longest I’ve ever had in my life before going for a major event. The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) has done a wonderful job by giving us a chance to polish our skills.”
Meanwhile, PBSA President Alamgir Sheikh said that the policy of grooming youngsters is paying dividends, as is evident by the performances of Hamza, Muhammad Majid and Asjad Iqbal.
“Hamza is doing really well in international tournaments and he’ll certainly be one of the contenders to win the event along with Asif,” said Sheikh.
“It pleases me that our policy is working well. Four years back, we started giving a chance to youngsters and now we’re reaping its rewards.”
The official added that the PBSA will be starting an U18 national championship from the next year to further strengthen the game at the grass-roots level.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2015.
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