CUE sports sensation Marc Fridman was recently crowned the Australian U21 billiards champion at 17, with a further four years in front of him at the age level.
The Cheltenham Secondary College year 12 student defeated talented Tasmanian Josh Burns 321-248 in the final at the Brunswick Club on April 11.
Fridman topped his group with ease, before remaining unconquered in the knockout stage.
Over the next few days, he attempted to pocket the double by winning the national U21 snooker title but he fell short in a nailbiting semi-final against Burns, who went on to lose 5-0 in the final to Victorian Matt Curwood.
The 2018 U18 champion once again had little trouble getting through the group stage, finishing atop the table and boasting a 9-1 frames record, and he continued that hot form into the qualifying final where he downed West Aussie Daniel King 3-0.
But the final hurdle proved to be an epic one, and ultimately one Fridman couldn’t overcome. After losing the first frame, Fridman bounced back winning the next two.
Burns responded and edged in front 3-2. Fridman fired back and showed plenty of nerve and grit to secure the penultimate frame 72-70, but couldn’t hold on in the decider, defeated by the smallest of margins (50-49), as Burns prevailed 4-3 and emerged the national U21 snooker champion for 2019.
Fridman dedicates his success in the sport to the hours he spent with the Maccabi eight ball and snooker club, where he became the youngest winner of the prestigious club snooker championship in 2016 at just 15.
At the time, Maccabi snooker president Mal Gilbert predicted big things of the then-baby-faced Fridman, but even he has been taken aback by the talented teen’s rapid rise.
On the back of an ultra-successful national championships, Fridman has been invited by the Australian Billiards & Snooker Council to represent his country at the world championships in China later this year. Events in Europe and the UK are also on the radar.