Vafaei becomes first Iranian to win a snooker ranking title

January 24, 2022 - 14:6

TEHRAN - Hossein Vafaei became the first Iranian player to win a ranking title, beating Mark Williams in the final of the Snooker Shoot Out.

Vafaei won the one-frame final with a break of 71 and dedicated the victory to his late grandmother.

“That is for you grandma," the 27-year-old told Eurosport. “It's Mother's Day in Iran and I am very proud I did that.

“When I arrived at this event I nearly pulled out because my grandmother passed away. I was in my room crying for one hour for my grandma. My mother and everyone in my family were crying.

“I decided to play but I didn’t care about winning or losing. I don’t know…an energy came to me, I don’t know how to explain it, and I played fantastic. It was very sad news for me but everyone told me to win it for my grandma, I wanted to do that and I have done it,” he added.

“It's a big achievement for a country like Iran. Nobody knew about snooker before. Now they know,” Vafaei concluded.

Wales' Williams, the three-time world champion, only got the chance to play one shot in the final with world number 42 Vafaei sinking a tricky, long red after the break-off.

“I thought I'd played a pretty good break-off shot there and what a fantastic red that was,” said Williams. “To make that break under pressure to win your first tournament, hats off to him.”

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