S'porean Gilchrist bags third world title

Fresh from bagging a third billiards world title, Peter Gilchrist has set his sights on completing another hat-trick at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.

The Singapore billiards master upset world No. 1 David Causier 1,500-1,085 points after a seven-hour duel in the long-format final to win the International Billiards and Snooker Federation World Billiards Championship in Leeds on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

Under the long format, players win on reaching 400 points in the group stages, 1,000 in the quarter-finals, 1,250 in the semi-finals and 1,500 in the final.

Gilchrist, the world No. 5, also won the title in 1994 and 2001 when it was called the World Professional Billiards Championships.

In a phone interview with The New Paper, Gilchrist said: "I'm feeling really good, although the phone kept ringing throughout the night with messages of congratulations!

"I've won it before, so I know how to win it. I just tried to keep it as simple as possible and, luckily for me, everything went to plan."

Despite his 415-point winning margin, Gilchrist said the final, which had a one-hour break in between, was anything but easy.

"My opponent was capable of making up 400 points if I missed just one shot," said the 45-year-old. "I couldn't relax until I potted the last red.

"Six-hour games like this take a lot of concentration, but the longer it is, the more comfortable it is for me."

The England-born Gilchrist, who became a Singaporean in 2006, will return here on Nov 8.

He will then start his preparations for the biennial SEA Games in Naypyidaw, where he is gunning for a third English billiards singles gold after triumphs in 2009 and 2011. He is also hoping to strike gold at the Asian Billiards Championship next April.

"I would love to win the Asian Billiards Championship one more time, but the SEA Games is the one that's on my mind more," said Gilchrist, who also coaches the national team.

"It's a big tournament and I'd like to win it again to get the hat-trick, and then win it again in Singapore in two years' time.

"It will be really good for cue sports in Singapore if we can get two or three gold medals in Myanmar."

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