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"Is a sportsperson only great when they win an Olympic medal?" asks Pankaj Advani

Ace cueist Pankaj Advani had some interesting takes on how an athlete's success is measured in India on his twitter handle.

pankaj advani snooker

Pankaj Advani


Rajdeep Saha

Published: 7 Feb 2023 8:27 AM GMT

"I'd rather win four back to back World Championship golds for my country than one Olympic medal," said a bold Pankaj Advani as an answer to a fan touting him as the 'Greatest athlete of all time' if snooker was an Olympic sport.

Ace cueist Advani, a 25-time World title holder, was involved in an interesting exchange of tweets on his handle. He raised a pertinent question about how the success of Indian sportspersons are measured by that one Olympic medal, which is perhaps unfair to those plying their trade in a non-Olympic discipline, like Pankaj himself.

The exchange begun with the snooker and billiards veteran posting a throwback video of his victory against John Higgins back in 2012 in the Paul Hunter Classic tournament, where he staged an incredible comeback to win the game.

Under that post, a fan commented the following:

This comment was good enough for the sportsperson to retweet it and throw a question to his followers and general Indian sports lovers at large. "Is a sportsperson only considered great if he/she wins an Olympic medal?" Advani quizzed.

When another person nodded their head in agreement with Advani and added that if Olympic gold was the benchmark then the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic shouldn't be considered legends, Pankaj replies that if he he'd won a solitary gold at the Olympics, he would have received a lot more recognition than he has for his 25 World titles.

The 37-year-old's take on this, is however, not new. "I feel it (Olympics) is a big bonus if an athlete wins a medal at the biggest global quadrennial sporting event, not the be all and end all though," Advani said in a Times of India exclusive in 2021.

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