Dubai: Khalid Kamali tamed Ahmed Al Jalaad of Jordan 4-3 to capture the youth singles gold medal for the UAE at the Seventh Arab Snooker Championships 2012 on Thursday evening, making a superb 130 on his way to victory.
Kamali’s performance in front of his home fans at the Dubai Snooker Club in the title showdown will linger on in the memories of snooker fans for a long time, especially his total clearance of 130 points, which is both highest of the whole tournament and the young cueist’s career.
The 20-year-old seemed lost for words after the final, but later said: “It is the finest moment of my career. I have won gold medals before but this holds a special place as the competition was far tougher than it had been ever before.
He said he had made up his mind before the final to go in and try win the hearts of the local fans more than the match itself.
“I am happy that I succeeded in winning both,” said Kamali.
“There was a time towards the end of the match that had me biting my nails, but I am relieved now that I have crossed the finish line ahead of the others.”
Kamali took the tight first frame, but then conceded the second to allow his opponent to tie the score at 1-1.
The young champion started showing his true potential in the third frame, which he captured with ease.
A spectacular long pot on the first red put him on course to a mesmerising display that led to the total clearance of 130 points.
However, there was of dramatic turn of events in store in the fourth frame. With the scores tied at 38-38, Al Jalaad missed an angular shot on the last pink to concede six penalty points. When asked to replay from the same spot, he had a fluke on the pink and then had a similar stroke of good luck on the last black while attempting a safety to steal the frame.
Al Jalaad clawed his way back further by taking the sixth, but Kamali held on to his nerves to snatch the deciding seventh frame and capture the gold medal for the UAE.
Earlier on Wednesday night, Mohammad Shehab and Mohammad Al Joker won their respective games to give UAE-A a 2-1 victory over tough Syrian team that comprised men’s singles finalists Omar Al Kojah and Karam Fatima. Eisa Ali Syed had conceded his game to Fatima.
The result assured UAE-A a place in the team event quarter-finals, which were due to be played on Friday afternoon.
On Thursday afternoon, the UAE-B team went 2-1 to Kuwait in their group match. Saif Al Kitbi won his game, but Marwan Ebrahim and Ahmed Abdul Qader both lost.