Hossein Vafaei Ayouri has won the World Under-21 Championship after beating Ireland’s Josh Boileau in the final by 8 frames to 3.
The Iranian, who won the IBSF World Amateur Championship in 2011, adds a second world title to his collection after a dominating display in the United Arab Emirates.
The 19 year-old emerged from the round-robin stage as the top seed having surrendered only a solitary frame in the process and was in complete control of most of his knockout encounters.
After two heavy victories, Ayouri’s only major threat came in the quarter-finals when he was pushed almost all the way in a tight tussle with Australia’s Ryan Thomerson, a match that he eventually triumphed in 6-4.
In the semi-finals, Ayouri compiled a magical 147 break, clearing the colours in a cool fashion as he surged through the penultimate round in style.
Despite hailing from the Middle East, the final had a very local feel about it as Ayouri, bereft of a UK visa, has been spending his time practicing alongside the likes of Boileau on Irish soil.
It was billed as the dream final around these parts but the outcome didn’t quite meet the expectation of a thrilling and close contest.
Ayouri raced into a 4-0 lead and Boileau, who was also inflicted a heavy defeat in the final of the European Under-21 Championship in March, was unfortunately never able to recover.
Yet, it was still a fantastic achievement for the 18 year-old, who embarked on another memorable run in a prestigious international event.
One feels it is only a matter of time before the Kildare cuiest is able to get his hands on some silverware before taking the step up in class and joining the pro stables.
Boileau may yet be offered a place on the Main Tour through his efforts over the last week as the ongoing problems with Ayouri’s visa continue.
This is purely speculation, though, and any developments on this matter remain to be seen.
While it would be great to see Boileau competing on the pro circuit, one feels that day will eventually come to fruition anyway and that this day belongs firmly to Hossein Vafaei.
Having gained his tour card for the 2012/13 campaign, the teenager was able to play in only a few events outside of the UK due to his failure to acquire the necessary visa to compete.
Evidently, this is a travesty given the potential he clearly has in the game and one hopes that the fiasco can be resolved as soon as possible.
For now, though, Ayouri can revel in his latest triumph of being crowned a world champion for the second time.