Pankaj Advani

Athlete Profile

athlete profile

At the tender age of 18, Pankaj won his first World Title in 2003. From there, his career has seen many firsts. He is the only person in the history of the game to have won both the billiards and snooker IBSF World Titles as well as the World Professional Billiards Championship. He was the first person ever to win a "Grand Double" (both the points and time formats in the same year) at the IBSF World Billiards Championships 2005 in Malta, a feat he repeated at the 2008 Championships held in Bangalore, and in 2014 at Leeds, U.K. He then went on to win it for a record 4th time on 18th November 2018 in Myanmar. 

The list of Pankaj's accolades continues with him remaining the only person to have won all 5 Billiards tournaments in a single season, an accomplishment achieved by winning the Junior National Championship, Senior National Championship, Asian Billiards Championship, World Billiards Championship (Point Format) and World Billiards Championship (Time Format).

His contribution to the sport and to India's sporting milieu has been recognized on multiple levels. He was bestowed with India's most prestigious civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in 2018, the Sahara India Sports Award, Teacher's Achievement Award in Sports and the DNA Most Stylish Sportsperson Award in 2010, the Padma Shri in 2009, India's highest sporting honour - the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2006 (the only sportsperson in Karnataka ever to win the award) and the Arjuna Award in 2004. 

Other awards he's won include the NDTV Spirit of Sports Award for India's Outstanding Achiever and TAG Heuer's Excellence in Sports Award in 2012 and recognition as a Global Shaper from the World Economic Forum in 2011.