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20-year-old Rodion Judin defended the Latvian National Snooker Championship in the capital city of Riga last week.

41 players started the event at the NB Club although 33 of them had to play a groups phase first with 16 qualifiers making the Knock-Out rounds and joining the top 8 seeds.

Judin, also a winner of this title in 2014 and 2016, was the top seed. He defeated Oleg Demjanov 4-1, Gatis Taube 4-0 and Sergejs Sergejev 4-1 in the Last 16, 8 and 4 respectively.

​His opponent in the final was Number 2 seed Maris Volajs, who had dropped just one frame on route. However, Judin would secure this particular title for a fourth time following a 7-3 victory, winning five frames in a row after being 3-2 behind.

Including other categories too, this was Judin's 14th National Championship. He is a two-time Baltic Snooker Champion and last summer was given a wildcard into World Snooker's Riga Masters where he defeated Chen Zhe 4-0 before losing to Robin Hull 4-2 in the Last 64. 

He was also the first Latvian player ever to compete in World Professional Championship Qualifying when he was selected as a wildcard in 2015, and again in 2016.

The governing body that looks after Snooker in Latvia is the Latvian Republic Billiard Federation.

Image above is courtesy of Rodion Judin

Article written and published by Michael Day on the 23rd May 2018