Gilchrist's Golden hat-trick

Gilchrist's Golden hat-trick

He collected his third South-east Asia (SEA) Games English billiards singles title on the trot, but not without breaking a sweat.

Up against Myanmar's Nay Thway Oo at the Wunna Theikdi Billiard Hall last Friday afternoon, Singapore's Peter Gilchrist made several sloppy mistakes to allow the local favourite to lead 2-1 in a race-to-three final.

Even after he regained some form to force the match into the deciding fifth frame, the 45-year-old let Oo lead 57-32.

But the Myanmarese shot his own foot by missing a simple pot, and allowed 2009 and 2011 winner Gilchrist back in with a chance.

The world No. 3, who won his third world title in October, made sure he didn't trip up again as he wrapped up the frame to win 3-2.

Two years ago at the SEA Games in Palembang, he also won the title in dramatic fashion after allowing Thailand's Praput Chaithanasakun to come back from 2-0 down to tie 2-2, before clinching the fifth frame.

Reflecting on the two tense finals, Gilchrist quipped: "I don't know, I guess I like to make it exciting."

With a look of relief, he added: "There were about 300 people in this hall, and all of them were rooting for Myanmar.

"He (Oo) has beaten me a couple of times before; he's very steady.

"When he went 2-1 up, he had the chance to beat me, but he just didn't take it. I'm very fortunate."

Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan Jin, who is also a co-opted member of the Singapore National Olympic Council, was thrilled with the see-saw final, which lasted almost two-and-a-half hours.

He said: "I guess that's what makes sports and games like this competitive and great for the audience."

Gilchrist started last Friday's final well, winning the first frame 102-55.

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