For a country whose intense passion for cricket take center stage and every moment of success is celebrated with pomp and joy all over our country, there have been moments of glory where sportsmen from other sports have toiled hard and have brought back laurels to the country by winning medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
Though some would argue that these moments to savour have been far and few, nevertheless they have shaped up the course of Indian sports and paved the way for champions to embrace the feats achieved by their illustrious predecessors.
For our present generation which has been swayed away by the cricket frenzy over the last two decades, it becomes imperative to share these path breaking achievements that redefined the image and popularity of these sports in our country.
Over the last seven decades,there have been many medalists for India at international competitions but only achievements at the Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian and Commonwealth Games have been taken into consideration here, as performances in these events are the benchmark of excellence for every sportsmen in his respective sport.
Over the years, India has produced exceptional exponents of cue sports who took the country’s name to the world stage in the sport. Wilson Jones was the country’s first amateur world Champion (1958 and 1964) in billiards.
Michael Ferreira, a three time world champion (1977,1981,1983) became one of most dominant players of his generation.
India’s wonder boy Geet Sethi dominated the sport in a highly competitive arena with masters of the game in Michael Russell and Peter Gilchrist. Sethi was a multiple World Amateur Billiards champion in the late 1980s (1985, 1987) and 2001. Sethi won the World Professional Billiards championship in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2006 and 2009.
In more recent years, Pankaj Advani has become the heir apparent to Geet Sethi and exhibited cue skills of the highest order by becoming a multiple world champion in both Billiards and Snooker. Advani has won the IBSF World Billiards (2005,2007,2008,2012) and IBSF Snooker Championship (2003) multiple times. He won the World Professional Billiards championship (2009,2012 and 2014).
Some other Indians who have found success at various competitions at the inter have been Om Agarwal, Rupesh Kothari, Dhruv Sitawala, Ashok Shandilya, Manan Chandra, Alok Kumar and Aditya Mehta.