Playing with a cracked cue, teenager Khalid Kamali followed the footsteps of UAE stars Mohammed Al Joakar and Mohammed Shehab into the knockout stages of the 13-nation Second West Asian Championships at the Concorde Fujairah hotel on Sunday.
After Al Joakar and Shehab had already been assured of places in the last 16 stage of the snooker singles competition, Kamali recovered from an earlier setback on the opening day on Saturday with a convincing 4-1 victory over Abdullah Al Rais of Oman to qualify from Group B.
Top of Group D
Al Joakar topped the Group D standings following a 4-0 hammering of Hani Kanan of Palestine on Sunday. Al Joakar did not drop a single frame on course during his march to the last 16 stage.
Top of Group A
Shehab, the defending champion and top seed, delivered a break of 86 to rout Mubarak Khalid of Kuwait 4-0 and finished on top of the Group A standings,
The young Kamali had suffered a 4-2 loss at the hands of last runner-up Ahmed Saif on Saturday, but he played a superb game in his next encounter as he outwitted Al Rais in every department of the sport.
Kamali said: "I am glad to have qualified. In the first match, it was a mixture of bad luck and a lack of experience playing under pressure that resulted in the loss to Ahmed Saif.
"Ahmed Saif has been around for a long time and he carries a formidable reputation so when the score went 2-2, I cracked.”
"And it wasn't also that as at the beginning of the match my cue had cracked as well. It was difficult for me to cue properly and I couldn't play my game.
"I used the same cue against Al Rais but this time I was relaxed in the knowledge that nobody would blame me for not making an effort."
4th UAE Player
The fourth UAE player Abdur Rahman Saif was to play in-form Syrian Omar Alkojah late on Sunday evening in a match that decide the winner and runner-up of the Group H as both of them have already made it to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Disappointment for Iran
Reigning world amateur snooker champion Hossein Vafaei of Iran was disappointing on Sunday after as he struggle to score a 4-3 victory over Ali Abdul Mohsen of Iraq. Vafaei topped the Group E standing with Mohammed Al Shaikh of Bahrain taking second place.
Habib Subah of Bahrain, whose 132-point break is the highest of the tournament so far, and Ehsan Hyderi of Iran had also topped their respective groups and qualified for the last 16 stage.
13 Nations Competing
Top players from the 13 West Asian nations are competing for gold medals in the snooker singles, snooker team, 8- and 9-ball pool singles events.
The participating countries are Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and the hosts United Arab Emirates.
9 Ball Pool
On Monday, the 9-ball pool final will be played at 7 pm, while snooker singles last round matches are scheduled to start at 10 am and will be followed by the quarter-finals at 7 pm at the same venue.
This press release has been written by Hanif Hassan, UAEBSA International.
The Snooker Singles Knockout Stage Draw has been created with players and their opponents, days and times, right to the final on 17 January at 3pm at the Concorde Fujairah Hotel.
The draw can be downloaded from this link.
Al Joakar Leads at Second West Asian Snooker Champs at Fujairah Concorde Hotel, FIF, 14 January 2012.
Schedule and Times for West Asian Billiards and Snooker Champs, Fujairah, FIF, 14 January 2012.
Concorde Fujairah Hotel on Cue for International Billiards & Snooker Champs, FIF, 12 January 2012.
13 Countries to Compete in Billiards and Snooker at Fujairah Concorde Hotel, FIF, 10 January 2012.
More Fujairah news, resources, info and photos is posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Images: UAE's young Khalid Kamali in action on Sunday at the Second West Asian Championships at the Concorde Fujairah Hotel.