Doha, Sep 28 (PTI) Nineteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani continued his fine form in the first leg of the Asian 10-red Snooker by storming into the semifinals here on Friday. Advani registered a comprehensive victory over seasoned multiple world champion Darren Morgan. After dropping the first frame to his Welsh opponent, Advani picked up the pace and took control of the high quality quarterfinal clash involving two heavyweights of cue sports.In the best-of-nine tie, Advani won five frames on the trot to confirm another medal for India and set up a mouth-watering clash with in form Brendan O’Donoghue of Ireland.As the lone Indian left in the fray, after Manan Chandra, Varun Madan and Kamal Chawla failed to qualify to the last-16 knockout stages, Advani made the most of his experience to advance in the tournament defeating Haris Tahir of Pakistan 5-2 before facing Morgan. Results: Quarterfinal: Pankaj Advani defeated Darren Morgan (Wales) 5-1: 12-92(58), 47-27, 50-13, 58-18, 62-36, 45-14.Pre-quarterfinal: Pankaj Advani beat Haris Tahir (Pakistan) 5-2: 55-31, 42-44(44), 48-47, 0-73(51), 67(67)-0, 48-1, 49-25. PTI BSBS
Pro-independence activist Edward Leung walks inside a detention centre before leaving for the High Court for a sentencing hearing in Hong Kong, China on 11 June. Photo: ReutersA former rising star in Hong Kong’s radical youth opposition was sentenced to 6 years in jail on Monday for rioting and assaulting police, one of the city’s harshest sentences against a democracy activist in recent years.Edward Leung, 27, one of the leaders of a movement advocating Hong Kong’s independence from China, had earlier been found guilty of rioting in a 2016 overnight protest that turned violent. He had pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer.About 130 people, mostly police, were injured when masked protesters tossed bricks and set trash cans alight to vent their anger against what they saw as mainland Chinese encroachment on the city’s autonomy and freedoms.It wasn’t immediately clear if Leung would appeal against the sentence.Leung appeared calm upon hearing High Court Judge Anthea Pang announce the sentence, while murmurs of disbelief rippled through a crowd of about 150 activists and supporters watching a live broadcast outside the courtroom.Pang condemned the “severe violence” of the riot, which she said had caused danger to those at the scene, and which warranted the imposition of a strict deterrent sentence.“The court absolutely does not allow livelihood or political disputes to be expressed through acts of violence,” she said.Two other defendants in the case, Lo Kin-man and Wong Ka-kui, were jailed 7 and 3.5 years respectively for rioting.Leung has supported Hong Kong’s outright secession from China given Beijing’s perceived erosion of the “one country two systems” principle granting the city a high degree of autonomy since it was handed from British to Chinese rule in 1997.The controversial politician, then a student of philosophy at the University of Hong Kong, came to public prominence after the violent protests, and a run for public office during a by-election for a legislative council seat that year. He was barred from running for another election later that year.China has repeatedly slammed the independence movement, fearful of the idea catching on in the mainland. President Xi Jinping warned last year that any attempt to endanger China’s sovereignty would be an act that crosses a “red line”.Although the court case does not deal directly on the issue of independence, the sentencing is likely to be interpreted as a broader warning against the city’s young radical activists.Leung’s sentence came one week after two other pro independence activists and former lawmakers were sentenced to one month in jail for assembling illegally in the legislature while still in public office.