Introduced to snooker at the early age of 10, Pankaj Advani, even as a child played the game with natural ease. Only a few people are bestowed with an innate desire to pursue their passion at an young age and he nurtured it, by making the best use of anyopportunity that came his way. Grit and mental toughness have been etched in his character.
The Karnataka Billiards and Snooker Committee (India) spotted his talent and decided to be his sponsor. His consistent performance is an indicator of his calibre and ability to match the best, both in the National and International level. His talent, combined with focus made him the youngest Indian to have won the Senior National Billiards Championship, at just 17. Pankaj made his debut at the International level in 2002, where he finished as a finalist at the Asian Billiards Championship. From then on, there was no looking back for him.
Some of his golden moments happened in 2005 when he claimed five billiard titles in the same year. Yet , he stayed grounded. He went on to receive several awards- the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2004, Rajiv Khel Ratna Award in 2006 (the highest award conferred upon a sportsperson in India). His undeterred spirit and professionalism has taken him this far.
In 2007, when the Karnataka Govt decided to confer upon him, “the Eklavya award”, Pankaj Advani outrightly declined the award, on grounds that the State Govt had a discriminatory attitude towards the sport!! He’s a true sport.
He had a clear idea of where he wanted to be, at an early stage in life. Level-headedness and a great work ethic are such an integral part of his towering success. Achievers can only be self-driven individuals who take fierce pride in their performance, here is one.