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Ace cuiest Pankaj Advani believes the greatness of athletes cannot be solely measured on their performance in quadrennial events like the Olympics.
"What I feel is that our perception of sport... Or rather we measure sporting greatness based on our performance in four years, that I find very difficult to understand and I feel that needs to be changed," Pankaj told PTI when asked whether he feels frustrated that both snooker and billiards are not in the Olympics.
"Just because a sport is not in the Olympics, just because our sport is in not in the Olympics, doesn't mean we are working less harder than others," the 16-time World Billiards and Snooker Champion said.
He was speaking before the Times of India Sports Awards scheduled to be held this evening in suburban Sahar.
"Whether a sport is in the Olympics or not, it still requires skill, hard-work, mental toughness, and also the fact that we are putting our focus on quadrennial events where is the consistency, today an athlete may win tournament after tournament year after year, may win 3 World Titles in four years, but when it comes to Olympics, that person may not come close to a medal , so our sporting greatness or our sporting performance cannot be defined by what we do in once four years and that for me is something we need to change our perception on," explained Advani.
Advani is looking ahead to the Asian Billiards Championship, Asian Snooker Championship and Asian Team Championship to be held in April and May.
"We have been playing a lot (in the last two-three months). After I won the World Billiards Championship in December, I had few national championships in December-January, so I am constantly in the heat of competition. And it helps you to stay sharp, it keeps you on your toes and you are obviously prepared as you play so many matches."
"In sport you are never done. (Roger) Federer has 17 Grand Slams and he still goes and wins his 18th Grand Slam after five years. It's all about reinventing yourself, evolving , because when you reinvent yourself and improve on what you find to be a successful career, there is no better feeling than that. Titles are there, numbers are there, beyond that it's about fulfilling your real potential," he signed off.