Pankaj Advani


When most athletes are beginning to showcase their talent, at the age of 33 Pankaj Advani has already won all the championships the game has to offer many times over. The 21-time World Champion in cue sports won his first world title when he was just 18, and is the only person in the world to have ever won both the Billiards and Snooker World Championships in all formats.

One of the youngest Indians to be honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Pankaj has also been conferred the Arjuna, the Padma Shri and most recently, the Padma Bhushan awards. He is widely admired for his calm and intense focus while competing and is a compassionate vegetarian and a teetotaller. The suave young achiever is quite the fashionista and has walked the ramp as a showstopper for top designers like Wendell Rodricks, Babita Malkani and Manoviraj Khosla.