UAE Participating Snooker Championship
Their participation and preparations for the major event is being supported by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, a media release said.
The championship, which is the centrepiece Asian snooker event organised by the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS), takes place on April 20-28.
Addressing a Press conference at the UAE Billiards & Snooker Association (UAEBSA) head quarters in Dubai, Abdulwahed Al Suwaidi, Corporate & After Sales Director of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring the country’s top two snooker players to the 2012 Asian Championship Doha. We have both high hopes and confidence that they will do well in this important event.”
UAEBSA Vice-President Mohmmed Tamjid Abdulla said that every effort was being made to help Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker prepare for the championship. “We have acquired the service of leading professional coach PJ Nolan from the Republic of Ireland for a training stint with the two players in Dubai and are keeping our fingers crossed for positive results.”
Nolan was scheduled to arrive in Dubai on Monday night and will be training the UAE players until April 18. Sultan Al Joaker, General Secretary of UAEBSA, stated on the occasion: “I have been saying this for some time that the competition is getting tougher with every passing day and competition in Doha this year is going to be extra tough.
The participating counties are Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, hosts Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, the Philippines and the UAE.
Last year’s Asian runner-up Aditya Mehta of India has been seeded top for the championship in Doha, while the reigning world amateur champion Hossein Vafaei of Iran has been seeded second.
UAE’s Shehab, the 2007 Macau Asian Indoor Games gold medallist, has been seeded eighth, while the other seeded players are Pankaj Advani of India (No. 3), Rais Senzahi of Afghanistan (No. 4), Kamal Chawla of India (No. 5), 2009 world amateur champion Thepchaiya Un-nooh of Thailand (No. 6) and former two-time Asian winner Jin Long of China (No. 7).
Shehab has been placed in Group H for the first round, round robin battles and given the list of players in the group he is all likely to make it to the last 16 round. However, the same cannot be said about Mohammed Al Joaker, who has been drawn in Group D, the toughest of all groups for the first round competitions.
Mohammed Al Joaker, besides facing the fourth seeded Senzahi, will have seasoned campaigners like Habib Subah of Bahrain, Fung Kwok Wai of Hong Kong and Lim Chun Kiat of Singapore and Ali Hussain Ali of Iraq testing his mettle with only two of them moving ahead to the last 16 stage.
A total of 52 players are participating in the championship and have divided into four groups.