A world champion cueist and an inspiration for aspiring billiards and snooker players, Pankaj Advani, the passionate and talented 31-year-old lad has achieved greater heights in a short span of time. In July 2017, Advani emerged victorious in the Asian Team Snooker Championship after defeating Pakistan. Beginning his career at the age of 12, he won his first Indian Junior Billiards Championship title in 2000 and since then he has never looked back. Not only billiards, his victory in Indian Junior Snooker Championship made him the youngest National Snooker champion.
When players of his age were busy learning the game, his unrelenting attitude and talent made him a World Champion in both English billiards and snooker. Because of his stellar achievements, he was awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2006 and became one of the youngest Indians to receive the highest sporting honor. A 16-time world champion, Advani has been bestowed with prestigious Padma Shri and Arjuna Awards.
The Bangalore-based athlete has completed his education in Commerce from Jain (Deemed-to-be University) to which he owes his success. On his association with Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Pankaj shared, “When I joined the college, I was worried how I would manage time for snooker and billiards tournaments along with the academics. But Jain College, a renowned institute, understood my passion for sports and supported me through my education. Jain College’s policy of maintaining a balance between academics and sports is commendable. I have always been grateful to the institute for my achievements.”
The only player to win the world titles in both the formats of snooker (long and short formats) as well as billiards (time and point formats), Advani also holds the World, Asian, and Indian National Championship titles simultaneously. Already with so many firsts of his career, Pankaj now wants to emulate the calmness which helps tennis legend Roger Federer to excel in his tournaments. With his stupendous performance, the champion cueist is the first player in the world to hold the world title and the continental title at the same time in 2016.