Her romancing with the cue sport is never-ending and with good reason. The only woman in the world to have an International Billiards and Snookers Federation (IBSF) gold in both billiards and snooker, Arantxa Lael Sanchis, a Pune-based cueist, has been married to the sport for over a decade and has no regrets whatsoever.
A master's in business administration (finance) and a BE in information and technology, 29-year-old Arantxa has loads of trophies and titles to top it all.
Her five hours of practice have been stalled, but she keeps herself occupied with household work, reading fiction and non-fiction, yoga and swimming, as all the outdoors activities are out of bounds owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yes, it is depressing, but one cannot help it like this the lockdown on the entire country. We have to take precautions and help one another so that the virus does not make further inroads”.
Besides utilising her time for personal development like fitness (yoga, home workouts, swimming), upgrading skills setting in fields of interest (technical and conceptual) - like learning a new programming language - she is keeping herself au courant, watching movies, listening to music, playing the piano and reading books. Her journey in the sport began as a 15-year-old and since then, there has been no turning back.
“Yes, has been over 15 years since I have been with the sport and there have been many hurdles during the transit, but thank god, all this has turned out to be a mere threat”.
Having been working for the last six years at the multinational investment bank Credit Suisse in product control function, Arantxa has been juggling work and the green baize.
The gold-medallist MBA from Symbiosis, Pune, her positive attitude in all walks of life has made it smooth sailing for her so far.
“Yes, it was difficult, as I did not get any sponsors. However, my parents came to my aid and I made it worth their while by winning medals for them and the country,” says Arantxa, one of the few southpaws in the sport, who signs off saying, “Yes I’m left-handed. I feel lefties are more artistic in their execution of amazing shots and are more creative and a treat to watch.
Lefties are crowd-pullers. Recent example is of Judd Trump (Pro Snooker) and the Legendary Jimmy White. Most lefties are ambidextrous so they can execute equally well with the right hand as well and that works as an advantage as they may not need to play shots with the rest.”