Fifth world title for Gilchrist
Singapore's Gilchrist wins billiards world title
He wasn't happy with his potting and his game was "not that good to be honest, it's all over the place".
But Singaporean Peter Gilchrist still managed to pick up his fifth world title when he beat India's Sourav Kothari 1500-617 in the IBSF World Billiards Championship final in Bengaluru, India at the Karnataka State Billiards Association on Thursday night.
This is his fourth long up world title to add to previous triumphs in 1994, 2001 and 2013.
He also won the short format in 2015.
"The first one is the best, but they are all nice to win. It is very satisfying," Gilchrist told The New Paper.
This latest feat is all the more impressive after the 48-year-old Middlesbrough native survived a five-hour marathon semi-final against India's Rupesh Shah to win 1251-958 earlier in the morning.
Gilchrist said: "If I get going, I can play for a long time... for 15, 20 hours.
"I don't get fatigued at all. In fact, I concentrate more the longer it goes on, unless I'm playing someone who's at the table all the time making a big break against me."
After falling behind by more than 300 points in the semi-finals, Gilchrist bounced back with back-to-back century breaks of 129 and 194 followed by a 86 to overtake Shah and qualify for the final.
The final was initially a scrappy safety battle, but Gilchrist was in good spirits as he elicited chuckles from the crowd by quipping: "It's going to be a long night, isn't it?"
However, he was in even finer form. Two century breaks and three half-centuries made sure that Gilchrist never trailed against Kothari.
A superb 354 - the highest break of the tournament - on his 14th visit followed by a 150 widened the gap to 855-205, crushing Kothari as Gilchrist mastered the three balls on the baize, picked up points at will to eventually pick off his opponent.
With this latest achievement, he now has three world titles in this decade alone, more than at any period of his illustrious career.
Add to that his historic two 1,000-breaks in 2007 and 2014, and it seems that like fine wine, Gilchrist is getting better with age.
It also raises hopes that he can once again work his magic in Malaysia next August as he seeks to win his fifth straight SEA Games English billiards singles gold medal.
He said: "I hope that's the case. It's really all down to the Sports Excellence Scholarship programme that I'm fortunate to have.
"I have a great team at the Singapore Sports Institute, which enables me to just go out and concentrate on winning titles.
"For sure, this win gives me more confidence for the SEA Games, which I actually feel more pressure competing in because it's such a short format (100 up or 150 up) event.
"To win a fifth consecutive gold medal would be lovely."