Naseem Akhtar makes snooker history for Pakistan

Posted in : Sports

(added a month ago!)
Naseem Akhtar became the first Pakistani to win the IBSF U18 World Snooker Championship by defeating China’s Peifan Lei 5-3 in the final in Beijing on Tuesday. Akhtar’s big win — the realisation of a lifelong dream that was first seen at the age of 11 growing up in Sahiwal — was made possible due to the cueist’s hard work. “I want to tell the people of Pakistan that snooker is a sport that needs your support,” Akhtar told that. “I hope my win can send out a message to the government and to the people that as a kid it is not a bad thing to play snooker. I want to dedicate this win to my country and to my parents for letting me chase my dream. It is because of this that I’ve now become the first person to win a junior world championship. I hope this will open doors for others too.” The final, like the rest of Akhtar’s journey, was a battle as he lost the opening frame to Lei 20-62 before levelling the tie with a 69-68 triumph. He then dropped two more frames 37-71, 19-57 to trail by a 3-1 deficit.
Naseem Akhtar makes snooker history for Pakistan
Akhtar, however, found his game in the fifth frame, winning 127-6 before following it up with 85-40, 61-37, 74-8 wins in the next three frames to seal the World Championship. “It was a tough match but I told myself ‘I can’t give up’ even when I was down three frames,” recalled Akhtar. “This win means a lot because I know I fought the entire tournament.” Earlier, Akhtar had defeated Israel’s Amir Nardela 4-0 in the semi-final to get to the final. Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association official Naveed Kapadia also heaped praise on Akhtar for his incredible, come-from-behind win in the final. “He just outperformed everyone and exceeded our expectations,” said Kapadia. “Pakistani youth has never played this way at world junior championships before. This only shows there is hope and we need to keep working on our players because they have the potential.” Akhtar and compatriot Haris Tahir will now begin their campaign at the IBSAF U21 Championship on Wednesday. “I think I can win the U21 too,” claimed a confident Akhtar. “I will try; in fact, Haris and I will both try our best.”
Blog post Written by Natasha Raheel and you can visit the original article at
Tags : Naseem Akhtar, Snooker, Sports, History, Pakistan, China, Championship, Defeat, IBSF, Match, Naveed Kapadia, Junior, Game

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