Bengaluru, Nov 22:
Chitra Magimairajan maintained her unbeaten run in the women’s league and became the first home player to qualify for the knock-out phase of the IBSF World Snooker Championship here Saturday.
While 41-year-old Chitra posted her fourth win in the six-player Group D when she beat fellow Indian Meenal Thakur 3-1, young Amee Kamani and reigning national champion Vidya Pillai all but booked their knock-out berths by maintaining their all-win record.
Of the trio, 22-year-old Kamani from Indore gave much cause for jubilation. Just four years after taking to snooker and coached by Sanjay Sawant, she showcased her abundant talent and her fluent 3-0 win over Iranian Akram Mohammadi Amini was further testimony to the fact that she is a work in progress.
Amani posted her third win in a row and with four players to qualify for the knockouts from each of the six groups, her progress to the next stage was assured.
National champion Pillai chaffed at the bit while overcoming a 1-2 deficit to beat South Africa’s Nicola Illse Rossouw 3-2 to notch her third win.
Elsewhere, defending women’s champion Wendy Jans from Belgium crafted breaks of 43, 57 and 32 in beating Neena Praveen 3-0 for her third win while sending out notice about the kind of form she is in.
In the men’s section, Pankaj Advani and Kamal Chawla, both of whom posted their fourth win, albeit in contrasting style, confirmed their progress to the knockout stage.
Title favourite Advani edged past compatriot Lucky Vatnani 4-2 after trailing 0-1 and 1-2 in a long match which was more a battle of attrition while Chawla, with breaks of 84 and 79, breezed past Mikhail Kerekhov of Russia 4-1.
Earlier, Manan Chandra also continued his winning ways by posting a fluent 4-0 result over New Zealand veteran Paul Bason. The talented 33-year-old Delhi-based Chandra, a former national champion, went for his shots from the outset and looked to be in good touch. (IANS)