Muhammad Yousuf was the first Pakistani to clinch the world amateur crown inSouth Africain 1994. “I have been dethroned,” were Yousaf’s first words over Asif’s victory.
Two-time national champion Muhammad Asif, who was unbeaten in the tournament, won the title after defeatingEngland’s Gary Wilson 10-8 in a match lasting over nine hours.
Thirty-year-old Asif, fromFaisalabad, is the third Pakistani to reach the final of the amateur World Championship as well – Yousaf won the title in 1994, whereas Muhammad Saleh lost toIndia’s Pankaj Advani in 2004.
This was Asif’s fourth appearance in the tournament. His previous best run at the event was last year; he was ranked among the top 32 cueists at the time.
Asif started off his campaign inBulgariawith confidence, defeatingAustralia’s Vinnie Calabrese 5-0 in the first round. He overcameEgypt’s Wael Talaat 5-2 in the pre-quarterfinal, crushedSyria’s Mer Alkojah 6-2 in the quarterfinal and outclassedMalta’s Alex Borg 7-1 in the semifinal to make it to the final.
He started Sunday’s match confidently as well, taking a 6-3 lead at the end of the first session in the best of 19-frame final. The 30-year-old continued the match at 7-5 despiteWilson’s break of 111 in the 12th frame.
However,Wilsonregained his focus in the subsequent two frames, equalising the score 7-7.
The two battled in the 14th frame. Asif claimed it only to lose the next one asWilsonforced the break of 59 in the 16th frame.