Egypt’s Hatem Yaseen earned himself a professional snooker tour card for the first time after defeating fellow countryman Mohamed Khairy in the final to win the 2015 African Snooker Championship.
Organised by the African Billiards and Snooker Federation (ABSF) and held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunis, Tunisia, the event was part of a continental championships that also featured women’s, masters and 6 red competitions.
In the overall championship there were 56 entries from nine different nations – Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and the host nation. Following completion of the round robins, seven of those countries still had representation in the last 32, although the latter stages were dominated by Egyptian cueists, who exclusively made up the semi-finals.
Both last four fixtures went all the way, with Yaseen ousting former winner and professional Wael Talaat, and Khairy getting past Mohamed Ibrahim. In another deciding frame finish, Yaseen denied Khairy 6-5 in the final to claim the top prize. It was the second time that Khairy had been runner-up in the tournament having been defeated by Peter Francisco in the 2012 title match in South Africa.
Yaseen will be offered a two-year professional pass for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.
Elsewhere during the championships, Egypt’s Walid Hamdy defeated Mozambique’s Ibrahim Ahmad 5-3 in the final to win the Masters accolade and another Egyptian, Ahmad Galal, took top honours in the 6 Reds competition following a 6-0 victory against Francisco.
Galal is rewarded with a place at the SangSom World 6 Red Championship in Thailand in September.
2015 ABSF African Snooker Championship
4th-16th May 2015, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Tunis, Tunisia
Results from the quarter-finals onwards
Arjun Lavingia (Tanzania) 3-5 Hatem Yaseen (Egypt)
Kusai Sharif (Libya) 4-5 Wael Talaat (Egypt)
Mohammed Khairy (Egypt) 5-1 Yousfi Chaouki (Morocco)
Ahmed Galal (Egypt) 0-5 Mohamed Ibrahim (Egypt)
Yaseen 5-4 Talaat
Khairy 5-4 Ibrahim
Ibrahim w/o Talaat (third/fourth place play-off)
Yaseen 6-5 Khairy
Event date: 4th-16th May 2015