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Pankaj Advani eyes hat-trick glory at Asian Billiards C’ships
RIYADH, July 1: Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani will aim for a hat-trick of titles in the Asian Billiards Championships beginning here on Tuesday.The four-day tournament is set to showcase top-tier talent from across Asia, including the Indian trio of Advani, Sourav Kothari, and Dhruv Sitwala.Advani boasts of nine Asian billiards title victories since 2005 and has won the event in the last two editions.He has also ruled the table in snooker, winning the Asian titles in 2016, 2019 and 2021, along with a team title in 2017.“While I’ve enjoyed success over the years, I try to remain grounded and focused as I understand the unpredictable nature of sport,” stated Advani in a release.“The field is packed with formidable competitors from India, Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore, making it a fiercely contested championship,” added Advani, who is competing in Saudi Arabia for the first time.The Asian Billiards Championship, an annual event, features the 100-points format. This year has been especially significant for Advani, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the World Billiards Museum in Shangrao City, China. (PTI)

India go down to Malaysia in quarters of Asian Junior event
NEW DELHI, July 1: India ran powerhouse Malaysia close but eventually went down 2-3 in the quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Junior Mixed team championships on Monday.The Indians will now participate in the individual championship, beginning from Wednesday.India made yet another change to their mixed doubles pairing in the quarterfinals, combining Sanskar Saraswat with Shravani Walekar.The duo gave the team the lead with a 21-16, 13-21, 21-17 win over Kang Khai Xing and Noraqilha Maisarah.Senior Nationals runners-up Tanvi Sharma then doubled India’s lead when she got the better of Siti Zulaikha 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 in girls’ singles.India looked on course of an upset win when Pranay Shettigar clinched the opening game against Muhammad Faiq.But he could not sustain the momentum and lost 15-21, 21-18, 21-19 in an hour and six minutes and Malaysia then grabbed the opportunity.Walekar and Navya Kanderi went down 16-21, 15-21 against Bui Ong Xin Yee and Carmen Ting.In the crucial boys’ doubles, Bhargav Ram Arigela and Arsh Mohammad lost to Kang and Aaron Tai 18-21, 10-21. (PTI)

Miranda, Kavan added to Mumbai City FC’s coaching staff
MUMBAI, July 1: Mumbai City FC on Monday appointed Clifford Rayes Miranda as assistant coach and Denis Kavan as its strength and conditioning coach on a two-year contract.Miranda, an AFC Pro License holder, has previously worked as an assistant coach with FC Goa, Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan.He was a member of the ISL League Winners’ Shield with FC Goa and Mohun Bagan and was also a part of Odisha FC in their Super Cup win in 2023.A former Indian player, Miranda has also coached the U-23 men’s team.Czech Republic’s Kavan has previously worked with several clubs across Europe and Asia. He had stints with Jablonec (Czech Republic), FC Dinamo and Gaz Metan (Romania), Panevezys (Lithuania), FC Seoul and Hanyang University (South Korea), Pafos and Karmiotissa (Cyprus) as well as Botev Plovdiv (Bulgaria).His last assignment was with Romania’s Sepsi OSK as Kavan gets ready for his first stint in Indian football. (PTI)

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