IRAN'S SARKHOSH WINS ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP ON HOME SOIL
Host nation Iran claimed Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the recently completed 34th edition of the Asian Snooker Championship.
Seven days of action in the northwestern city of Tabriz concluded with an all-Iranian final of Ali Gharaghouzlo and Amir Sarkhosh. The pair were undefeated throughout, having qualified from the groups phase as the Number 1 and 3 seeds respectively.
26-year-old Sarkhosh made a break of 111 in defeating Saleh Mohammadi (Afghanistan) 4-2 in the Last 16, and then won four consecutive frames from 4-1 down to oust Chi Wai Au (Hong Kong) 5-4 in the Quarter-Finals. In the Semi-Finals he eliminated Mohammad Bilal (Pakistan) 5-2 to secure a final berth.
Gharaghouzlo dispatched Malkeet Singh (India) 4-0 in the Last 16, but then had to come through deciding frame finishes against Babar Masih (Pakistan) and Ehsan Heydari Nezhad (Iran) in the Quarters and Semi-Finals.
However, Sarkhosh comfortably won the final 6-1 to add his name to the roll of honour and join previous winners such as James Wattana and Ding Junhui.
Unfortunately, numbers were down this year with 36 entries. 11 different countries were represented, although China did not send any players on this occasion. Last year China's Lyu Haotian, who recently got to the Last 16 of the World Professional Championship, was the champion in Doha, Qatar.
Previously the winner of this tournament would be offered a professional tour card, however, as the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports is not a member of the World Snooker Federation, this is currently not the case. It has been suggested on Social Media that the ACBS will fund players going to Q-School.
2018 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship Results (from the Quarter-Finals onwards)
Ali Gharaghouzlo (Iran) (73) 5-4 (83) Babar Masih (Pakistan)
Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (Thailand) 0-5 (68) Ehsan Heydari Nezhad (Iran)
Amir Sarkhosh (Iran) (65, 77) 5-4 (60, 63, 93, 60) Chi Wai Au (Hong Kong)
Ahmed Saif (Qatar) 3-5 (75) Mohammad Bilal (Pakistan)
Gharaghouzlo (69, 81) 5-4 (52) Heydari Nezhad
Sarkhosh (70) 5-2 (69) Bilal
Gharaghouzlo 1-6 (56) Sarkhosh
Ali Gharaghouzlo (Iran) 138
Article written and published by Michael Day on the 13th May 2018