Nassim Sekat claimed his country’s national title for the first time after he defeated Audun Risan Heimsjo 4-2 in the final to win the 2023 Norwegian Snooker Championship.
Organised by the Norwegian Billiard Federation, this year’s Championship took place at the Os Billiard & Snooker Club in Osøyro, just outside Bergen.
Sekat won all four of his round robin matches to top Group A and qualify for the knockout rounds. The only frames he dropped were in a 3-2 victory against Harald Helberg during which he made a 71 break.
Having eliminated Kenneth Sagebakken 4-0 in the last 16, Sekat faced ex-professional Bjorn L’Orange in the quarter-finals. The 25-year-old hit a break of 60 in the opening frame and established leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but L’Orange forced the tie all the way by taking frames five (50 break) and six. However, Sekat won the deciding frame to go through to the semi-finals where he defeated Umar Hayat Ali 4-1 to book a spot in the final for the first time in his career.
Ali – who had a 60 break in the only frame he won against Sekat – constructed a 125 clearance in the previous round. The effort stood as the tournament’s highest break.
Runner-up in 2016, 2017 and 2022, Heimsjo reached the final for a fourth time as he came through the other side of the draw. He also emerged as a group winner with a 100% record before later seeing off Reidar Rundsveen 4-1 in the last four, aided by breaks of 52 and 60.
In a contest between two club mates from the Trondheim Snooker venue, a new champion was guaranteed. Heimsjo deposited the opening frame but Sekat responded with three-in-a-row to move within one of the target. Heimsjo stopped that sequence and reduced the gap to one, although Sekat was not to be denied the title as he crossed the line with frame six.