Japanese billiards player Ryuuji Umeda, 39, defeated Spain's Daniel Sanchez three sets to two on Monday to win the sport's World Championship in a hard-fought final the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca.
The players exchanged the lead all through the final. World number three Sanchez took the first set 15-6, world number 13 Umeda took the second 15-5 and the third 15-4; then Sanchez struck back with a 15-4 win; but Umeda won the fifth set 15-12.
Six former world champions arrived in Cuenca, 350km south of Ecuador's capital Quito, as favorites. However, only Sanchez competed close to the level set for him by the bookmakers.
Sanchez was world champion in 1998 and in 2005, while Umeda wasa surprise finalist. Umeda replaces Belgium's Eddy Merckx, 2006's winner, in the top spot, while Peru's Ramon Rodriguez and Holland's Dick Jaspers share the championship's bronze medal.