Host nation supporters were left pleased as Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh defeated compatriot Ali Gharaghouzlo in the final to win the 2018 Asian Amateur Snooker Championship.
The 34th edition of this continental competition was held in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz. Both Sarkhosh and Gharaghouzlo were undefeated throughout having qualified from the groups phase as the number one and three seeds respectively.
Sarkhosh won all five of his group games to make the last 16 knockouts where he compiled a break of 111 as he got the better of Saleh Mohammadi (Afghanistan) 4-2.
The 26-year-old was up against it, though, during his quarter-final clash with Hong Kong’s Chi Wai Au. Trailing 4-1, Sarkhosh strung together four consecutive frames to squeeze through 5-4 before enjoying a more comfortable 5-2 victory over Mohammad Bilal (Pakistan) in the last four.
Gharaghouzlo eliminated Malkeet Singh (India) 4-0 in the last 16 but subsequently had to survive deciding frame finishes against Babar Masih (Pakistan) and Ehsan Heydari Nezhad (Iran) to reach the final.
However, Sarkhosh took the opening frames of the title match and never looked back as he recorded a 6-1 triumph to claim this title for the first time and add his name to a roll of honour that includes Asian snooker legends James Wattana and Ding Junhui.
Not only is Sarkhosh the first Iranian to win the championship, but it was also the first time that an Iranian had appeared in the final.
During one of his group fixtures, Gharaghouzlo crafted a break of 138 – the highest of the tournament.
Article written and published by Michael Day on the 13th May 2018.