Pakistan’s gold hope shatters in 6-Red Snooker singles as Mohammad Sajjad falls in semi-finals

ASHGABAT (Turkmenistan): Pakistan’s gold hope in snooker and the most experienced cueist Mohammad Sajjad faced a shocking exit after tasting unexpected defeat at the hands of his rival from China Yan Bingtao in the semi-final of the 6 Red Snooker Singles Event of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martgial Arts Games on Thursday.

Before the semi-final clash all eyes were focused on Mohammad Sajjad, a very confident man to win the gold medal against his rival but he lost 5-3 to Yan Bingtao of China.

“Certainly victory and losing are part of the game and one should win the other should lose but could not maintain my concentration the way I wanted,” Mohammad Sajjad told reporter in a post-match talks. It was really disappointing on my part as I should have won the gold, Mohammad Sajjad, a very experienced player, added.

Despite losing the match Sajjad won bronze medal for Pakistan. With this medal, Pakistan so far grabbed two gold, two silver and 14 bronze medals and still occupied the 15th position behind top three positions holders Turkmenistan, Iran and Thailand.

Turkmenistan with 130 medal including 55 gold, 38 silver and 37 points, Iran got 42 medals with 10 gold, 8 silver and 24 bronze medals while Thailand with total 30 medal remained at third with 8 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.

Mohammad Sajjad, Mohammad Bilal and Asjad Iqbal while commenting on this occasion said they would try their level best in the Team event and hopeful enough to win medal for the country. Both Sajjad and Bilal have so far played but Asjad will be appearing in the Team event to be starting from today (Friday).

Pakistan’s Mohammad Sajjad moved to the semi-finals after defeating Ali Alobaidli of Qatar in the quarter-finals. There was a tough battle between Mohammad Sajjad and Ali Alobaidli of Qatar as both were locked 1-1 and 2-2 in the first four frames, giving each other a tough fight before Sajjad marched into victory.

Former World No. 2 and three times Asian Championship silver medalist Mohammad Sajjad could not maintain his class against his China rival. The hot fought battle was witnessed by jam-packed spectators. Sajjad of Pakistan also received thundering applauses from the sitting spectators when entered into the main arena because of his last night display against strong Qatar player Al-Obaidli Ali Naseer.

Mohammad Sajjad played with determination and adopted attacking strategy by exhibiting some beautiful potting.

It was a tough battle as once it was looking that Sajjad will make a comeback but China’s Yan Bingtao could not give much time to Sajjad to strike back and quickly taken the first three frame 60-8 wherein he hits a break of 60 points, followed by two other frame at 32-12 and 38-13.

Mohammad Sajjad won the fourth frame by 0-37, losing the fifth at 51-04 before winning the sixth and second frames at 22-38 and 4-48. It was the eighth frame when Yan Bingtao fully dominated the proceedings and won the frame by 41-11.

Pakistan will face Myanmar in the Team event pre-quarter-final. It was also a bad day for Afghanistan when Saleh Mohammad, a former World No. 2 when he was playing for Pakistan, ousted in the semi-final against Doheil Wahidi of Iran 5-2, the score was 5-41, 45-17, 52-17, 073, 67-12, 41-12 and 61-9. Soheil Vahidi of Iran recorded a break of 61, 41 and 67 while Saleh Mohammad recorded a break of 40, 73 and 24.

In the only weightlifting event Pakistan Furqan Anwar got first position in the B-category 77kg. In the Snatch three attempts Furqan clear the first two of 123kg, and 127kg but could not make it to 130kg and in the clear and jerk he cleared 150 in the first attempt, followed by 155 but he could not make it. His total weight clearance was 277kg, followed by Veidreyak Patrick of Fiti with 255kg, Zabirov of Tajikistan with 255kg and Shukurou with 247kg. Furqan improved his overall seeding but he could not make it to the medal in the weightlifting.

In the Tennis Men doubles Uzbekistan pair Dustov Faruukh and Fayziev Sanjar defeated Ahmad Chudhary abd Abdaal Haider by 6-1 and 6-1 in a one-sided affairs while in the Women doubles the team of Chinese Taipei comprising Chang Halao Yun and Wec Ting Cheeh defeated minnows to tennis Sara Mansoor and Sara Khan of Pakistan by 6-2 and 6-0. In the Taekwondo event Asad Arsalan Khan and Mohammad Iqbal of Pakistan ousted in the first round of -68kg weight and Seo Kangeum of Korea and Sharif Mohammad Muradi of Afghanistan. Pakistan is also playing three medals matches in the belt wrestling on Thursday night.