x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Hopes high for UAE to pocket a medal at Billiards Championship

Three players from the host nation make it to the last-eight stage of the GCC Championships.

Khalid Esbaitah managed to quell difficult opposition for his two wins in the league stage.
Khalid Esbaitah managed to quell difficult opposition for his two wins in the league stage.

The UAE continued their impressive run at the GCC Billiards Championship at the Ezone Club in Dubai as three of them marched into the 9-ball pool quarter-finals yesterday.

Khalid Esbaitah, Ali Saeed and Salah Al Rimawi were all on top of their game to win two matches apiece, increasing the UAE's chances of reaching the medal round.

It was not all good news for the UAE as Mohammed Alhosani saw his hopes ended after losing two games in a row in the double elimination contest.

Alhosani first lost 9-1 to Badr Alawadi of Kuwait and was then beaten again in his first game in the losers' bracket by Saudi Arabian cueist Mohammed Al Hazami 9-8.

Esbaitah faced tough resistance from Bahrain's Omar Ashiq but was able to get the better of his opponent 9-7 in the morning.

He then put on an impressive show to beat talented young Qatar player Ali Alobaidli 9-4 to move into the quarter-finals.

Al Rimawi was also drawn against a tough opponent, Bashar Hussain of Qatar, for his first-round match and he did well to claim a 9-7 victory.

He then went on to record a 9-6 victory over Ali Abbas of Bahrain to enter the quarter-finals. Saeed got the better of Badr Al Hamdan of Saudi Arabia 7-5 in the first round before claiming a 7-6 triumph over Abdullah Al Yousuf of Kuwait to join teammates Esbaitah and Al Rimawi in the last-eight stage.

The UAE already have one gold medal to their credit at the championship after their team went unbeaten in the league format of the 8-ball pool team event on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the round robin last 16 stage of the National Day Snooker Championship, Khalid Kamali routed Pakistan's Waseem Mufti in his first match.

In other matches played at the Dubai Snooker Club, former Egypt international Mohammed Samy El Khayat whitewashed UAE national team player Saif Al Kitbi 4-0, Mohammed Hussain registered a convincing 4-0 victory over Marwan Ibrahim and Jordanian Khalid Al Azzouni edged Englishman Darren Taylor 4-3.

The last 16 battles continue at the same venue until Friday. The final will take place on Monday.

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