The much awaited Colombo YMCA Open Snooker Championship got underway on 1 June and is set to conclude on 13 June.
Over 144 participants are playing at this year’s competition, which has been revived after a lapse of a decade by Section Chairman M. A. Franklin, who is being guided by Colombo YMCA President Lal Withanage.
The tournament has been divided into two categories, with preliminary round matches presently underway. The last 16 players will then be joined by 16 national list players from last year to vie for the Open Championships. Present national champion Susantha Boteju will join the action from the national list. Right royal battles are expected once the final 16 from the preliminary round are selected.
The Colombo YMCA, which houses more than 13 different sporting disciplines and has been pioneering sports in Sri Lanka for over 130 years, has produced several national champions, players such as the late Henry Boteju, M. Sethupathy, K.V.W. Jayasekera, K.H. Sirisoma, C.M. Naeem, O.A. Haleem and Frouse Saheed, who was also the former President of the world governing body, the International Billiards and Snooker Federation, to name a few.
Boteju ranks high on the list of all-time greats, having clinched the snooker national title a record 17 times.
This year’s tournament is sponsored by S.P. Logistics, The Lover of Kotahena and Hikma Traders. The finalists will get handsome cash awards. For the preliminary round the winner will get Rs. 10,000, the runner-up 5,000 and the highest break over 50 points will get Rs. 5,000. The Open Championship winner will be awarded Rs. 50,000, the runner-up Rs. 25,000, the third place finisher Rs. 10,000, the fourth place finisher Rs. 5,000 and the highest break over 80 points will receive Rs. 10,000.
The public can witness some enthralling snooker from 12.00 p.m. on weekdays and 10.00 a.m. on weekends.