2021 Pan American Snooker Seniors
Ahmed Aly Elsayad wins for the USA
The 2021 Pan American Championships got underway on November 13th with the Snooker Seniors event followed by the main Championships on November 17th. Both
tournaments were held at our fantastic venue, The Corner Bank, in Toronto, Canada, where club proprietors John White and Jim Wyche set up the tables and viewing area superbly for players and spectators. With the fantastic prize of playing at the 2022 World Snooker Seniors at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, UK, on offer, it was sure to be a fantastic battle for the title.
After the 2020 Championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players from all regions of the Americas were keen and excited to play in this year’s championships with 48 entries for the Seniors and many reserves waiting to play. The tournament consisted of many players from Canada, the United States, and Brazil. The initial round-robin group stage consisted of eight groups of six, with the top two players in each group qualifying for the knockout stages.
Once the group stages were complete, the top 16 players emerged into the knockout rounds. Out of a field full of Canadians it was home favorite Levi Meiller who made it to the final and represented Canada. However, even with this strong Canadian field, Meiller would be joined in the final by Ahmed Aly Elsayad of the United States in a North American battle for the title and a place at the Crucible Theatre. Meiller had beaten fellow Canadian Vito Puopolo in a deciding frame 4-3 to reach the title match whereas Aly had beaten Canadian Eddie Galati 4-1. Both finalists had reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Pan American Snooker Championships in Houston, USA.
In a closely matched final, these two capable players fought well. Elsayad took a 3-1 lead going into the interval and, having taken control of the match, produced a fantastic pressure clearance and final black down the side rail to claim a 4-1 victory. Once he downed the black to claim the title, Elsayad’s delight could be seen from all with cheers and shouts of excitement before Meiller offered a gracious and respectful embrace and handshake. The respect between both players could be seen throughout and after the match.
With his victory, Elsayad claimed his place at the 2022 World Snooker Seniors at the Crucible Theatre and, in doing so, he will become the first American to ever play there. This is a fantastic and historical achievement for snooker in the United States and the pan-American region. Having adopted the nickname “The King” having claimed a record-breaking sixth USA National title in October, Elsayad could potentially face “The King of the Crucible,” Stephen Hendry, or “The Whirlwind,” Jimmy White, in the first round of the World Snooker Seniors in May 2022.
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