Naseem Akhtar clinches IBSF World U18 Snooker title

Naseem Akhtar
Naseem akhtar poses with the IBSF Under-18 Snooker Championship trophy.

Pakistan’s Mohammad Naseem Akhtar became the first ever Pakistani to win a junior world title when he beat China’s Peifan Lie to clinch the IBSF World Under-18 Snooker Championship in Beijing on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old stuttered in the start and was down 3-1 after scores 62-20, 71-37 and 57-19 in the first, third and fourth frames respectively.

But Naseem, the National Junior Champion, who also won the second frame 69-68, hit Lie back in the 5th frame and then went on to win the last four frames consecutively with scores of 127-06, 85-40, 61-37 and 74-8.

The overall match scores were 20-62, 69-68, 37-71, 19-57, 127-06, 84-40, 61-37 and 74-08.

Earlier, Nassem had defeated Israel’s Amir Nardela 4-0 (74-19(69), 82-0(64), 90-21, 89-42) in the semi-finals.

The Sahiwal-born cueist defeated Florian Nuble of Austria 4-1 in the quarter-finals with frame scores of 62-67, 74-7, 86-29, 74-8, 72-21, in the event which featured 48 cueists from 29 countries.

Naseem also eliminated Haris Tahir, his compatriot in the round of 16.

Both cueists have their eyes set on the U21 Championship which kicks off at the same venue on Wednesday.