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Advani to play in billiards at Doha Asian Games

September 15, 2006 16:57 IST

Snooker's loss is billiards' gain.

Pankaj Advani, the only Indian to win world titles in both cue sports, on Friday decided to compete in the three-ball game at the Doha Asian Games in December.

The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India had put in place a 'one man-one discipline' rule, which was opposed by several of the country's top players, including Advani.

They had said that such a stipulation would limit India's medal haul, as the country has a rich talent pool in both sports, but the BSFI stood firm.

The 21-year-old, winner of this year's Khel Ratna, had till Friday to make a decision, and after much deliberation, reached the "most difficult choice of my playing career".

"I am anguished that I had to make a choice between the two disciplines. As I have repeatedly said, the entire concept of one man-one discipline defies logic and will definitely hamper India's medal chances at the Asian Games," Advani said.

"Many top-ranked players have finished in the top two spots in multi-disciplines and have had to make the same heart-wrenching decision that I have had to make," he said.

Though Advani will only take part in billiards, he assured that he will try his utmost to win a medal for India.

"This has been the most difficult choice of my playing career. It was a call between my head, which said snooker and my heart, which said billiards. This time I went with my heart," he added.

Advani had won the world snooker title in 2003 before winning the world title in billiards last year.

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