Defeat grates on Gilchrist

Peter Gilchrist had trailed 609-371 and then rallied to within two points (772-770), before losing 1,134-944.
Peter Gilchrist had trailed 609-371 and then rallied to within two points (772-770), before losing 1,134-944.

Singaporean vows to bounce back in next event after losing World Billiards C'ship final

Singapore's Peter Gilchrist has vowed to come back stronger following his loss to India's Sourav Kothari in the final of the World Billiards Championship (long format) on Friday night.

Kothari beat Gilchrist 1,134-944 in the five-hour match at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England, denying the 50-year-old Singaporean his fourth title, after wins in 1994, 2001 and 2013.

Gilchrist had trailed 609-371 at the end of the first of two 21/2-hour sessions, but the 2014 Singapore Sportsman of the Year rallied to pull back to within two points (772-770) midway through the second session.

However, Kothari was able to rebuild his lead and hang on to it.

Gilchrist said the manner in which he lost - coming so close to pulling off a comeback only to falter - was bitter, but he also admitted that Kothari had his number on the day.

"I suppose it's easier to lose by quite a lot, but I scraped through the quarter-finals and semi-finals," he told The Sunday Times over the phone.

"You have to be as gracious in defeat as when you win, and on the day, he played better than me and deserved to win.

"He held his nerve well and I just could not forge clear of him."

The event was played in the long format, where players who score the most points over a set time win. Group and last-32 games were 90 minutes long, last-16 matches were two hours long, the quarter-finals were three hours long. The semi-finals were four hours long, played over two sessions of two hours.

Gilchrist had remained undefeated in the tournament until he came up against Kothari, who claimed the £3,200 ($5,667) winners' purse. The Singaporean settled for £1,600.

Gilchrist will next turn his attention to the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Billiards and Snooker Championship in Yangon, Myanmar, from Nov 12-27.

It was in this competition that he triumphed in the long format in 2016 after beating Kothari in the final.

Gilchrist said Friday night's loss has lit a fire under him.

"I always try to be gracious but I'm a bad loser, it gets to me," he said, with a chuckle.

"But normally, I come back stronger and hopefully it will be the same this time when I head to Myanmar."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 28, 2018, with the headline 'Defeat grates on Gilchrist'. Print Edition | Subscribe