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Indian cueists fully geared up for Doha challenge

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Nov 22 (UNI) Notwithstanding their below par performance in the Busan Asian Games four years ago, Indian cueists, undergoing an eight-day final preparatory camp in the city, are confident of putting up a winning performance and at least double their medal tally in Doha Asian games, beginning next month.

Speaking at a media conference at the Karnataka Snooker and Billiards Association here, ISBF President Capt P V K Mohan said 17 players, including four women, would lead India's challenge in Billiards, Snooker, Pool and Carom events. Though the Union Government had cleared only nine names, the ISBF would sponsor the remaining eight, who had been included in the draw by the games authorities, if their names were not cleared.

''During the previous Asian Games in Busan, we could finish with just three medals. However, judging by the tremendous form our cueists are in at present and the great efforts the coaches have put in the coaching camps, I am sure they will come back with more medals this time,'' he said.

Speaking to UNI, Chief Coach Subhash Agarwal said the team would have to contend with stiffer competition this time, but they were well poised to rake in more medals. For the first time, the country was expecting a medal in 9-ball and 8-ball pool games for which they had underwent a camp under former World Champion Jeorge Decer in Manila recently, he added.

Eight times world Billiards champion Geet Sethi said the team was exuding confidence and was ready for the challenge from Asian giants like China, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines and Malaysia in different cue games. ''I feel that the Indian team will bring back seven medals, three each in billiards and snooker and the first medal in pool.'' Five times national billiards champion Ashok Shandilya lauded the efforts of Mr Agarwal and other coaches like Manoj Kothari, Sanjay Sawant, S Jairaj and Mukesh Rehani who helped the team fine tune their skills here. ''Yoga introduced for the first time in this conditioning camp proved very useful,'' he added.

The Indian team would leave for Doha from here on December 1.


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