Amateur Snooker - 2015 IBSF World Amateur Championships
9th-21st November 2015 / Sunrise Select Hotel, Hurghada, Egypt
THE HEAT IS ON IN HURGHADA…
Men’s knockout stage top seed Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn survived a late onslaught by Muhammad Asif to book his place in the quarter-finals.
The undefeated Thai coasted to wins over Khaled Farag (Egypt) 4-0, and the much fancied Jamie Clarke (Wales) 5-1 in the last 64 and 32 respectively, and he looked comfortable again when taking a 4-1 lead against Asif.
However, the Pakistani strung together a trio of frames, including a break of 72 in the seventh, to force a decider.
Lertsattayathorn stayed focused though, creating a run of 86 when he really needed it, to keep his hopes alive with a 5-4 success.
On Friday he’ll face 25 year old Welshman Ben Jones, who has only dropped 4 frames in his opening three KO games.
Teenager Brian Cini is an emerging talent from the cue sport crazy island of Malta. His pursuit of the World Amateur title is very much still on after eliminating fellow hot prospect Yuan Sijun of China and Belgium’s Tomasz Skalski during Thursday’s action.
Cini will now clash with arguably the pre-tournament favourite Zhao Xintong - another star off the seamlessly endless Chinese production line.
Zhao has been lethal throughout, enjoying clean sweeps over Mohamed Khairy and Lin Tang Ho in recent outings.
Familiar former professional figures of Alex Borg and Pankaj Advani remain in the third quarter of the draw - both obvious major contenders for this crown given their class and pedigree.
Borg had to come back from 4-3 down in his Last 16 tie with Iran’s Soheil Vahedi, whilst multi-time World Champ Advani really has sailed through with victories against Peter Bullen 4-0, Amir Sarkhosh 5-2 and Gary Thomson 5-1.
Irish hopeful Greg Casey continues to quietly navigate his route through the field. He now finds himself only a few steps away from the big time after beating Mostafa Gebely, Tetsuya Kuwata, Issara Kachaiwong and Mohamed Shebab.
Germany’s Lukas Kleckers is mainland Europe’s sole representative left; a comprehensive 5-1 defeat of Syrian Karam Fatima puts him in with a realistic shout of lifting the trophy come Saturday.
Much talked about Kleckers had earlier whitewashed number 2 seed (from the round robin phase) Abdul Sattar 4-0 during the Last 64 stage.
The major forces in the Women’s section look set to be on a collision course come the business end of the championship.
Top seed Amee Kamani (India) is remarkably still to drop a single frame in the entire event. A perfect group phase campaign has been followed up with a 4-0 win over South Africa’s Amy Claire King.
She’ll now cross cues with fellow countrywoman Chitra Magimairajan in the Last 8.
Russian Anastasia Nechaeva ended the dreams of Australian Jessica Woods 4-2 to set up a date with current IBSF Girls World Under 21’s champion Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan.
Another Thai cueist left in is Warattanun Sukritthanes, although she’ll now have to pass Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, who is looking for the unique double of both world crowns after claiming the WLBSA version back in April.
Reigning title holder Wendy Jans appears to be picking up the pace; exemplified with routine performances over Joy Lyn Willenburg (South Africa) 4-1, and Diana Stateczny (Germany) 4-0.
Jans now meets impressive Indian Vidya Pillai for a spot in the semi-finals.
For more information and results, please visit the IBSF portal here.
Written and published by Michael Day on the 20th November 2015