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Revanna Umadevi: From tapping on the typewriter to becoming the World Champion

Umadevi being honoured by the President Ram Nath Kovind in the year 2017

Achievements –
 Ranked No. 1 in national level Billiards in 2002, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018
 Ranked 2nd in national level Snooker in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
 Earned a bronze medal at national level Snooker in 2007
 Honoured with the Ekalavya Award by the Government of Karnataka in 2009
 Became the World Billiards Champion and 8 Ball Pool National Champion in 2012
 Received the “Nari Shakti Puraskar” from the President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, being amongst the list
of 30 great women of 2017 in India
It is rightly said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and the World Billiards Champion Revanna Umadevi is a live
example of this phrase. While having a word with this Snooker Ace, it doesn’t seems that we are talking to a lady who
has showed exuberance and aplomb through her top notched performances both at national and international level.
Honest, humble and persistent. These are the qualities that define her personality. An ordinary typist who realised that
Billiards is her real calling; courageously move ahead and never looked back.

Revanna Umadevi story is an inspiration to the world, At Sportmatik.com we wanted to help share her journey, so we
contacted her and she was heartily welcomed us. We are sure that you will be amazed when you will read about her as
well. Let’s get started then.

Share your experience of becoming the World Billiards Champion in 2012?

It was a feeling of joy and I was on the cloud nine. I received a phone call from one of the Media houses from Bangalore. I
even did not note down the scores of any matches. I was completely shell shocked as it was never expected.

Define yourself in one word.

“FIGHTER”

What were your dreams in childhood?

I was like any other normal child with no such dreams.

Why did you pick up billiards over table tennis?

Umadevi’s Billiards Table at Home

My office was in Lalbagh, Bengaluru and the atmosphere was beautiful. I enjoyed working there and used to go to the
Karnataka Government Secretariat Club to play table tennis during lunch hour. There, I used to wait for one of the
coaches. During that time, I sit and watch Billiards as the Billiards room was next to the Tennis room. I was attracted by
the colourful Billiards balls and the green table top. Certainly, I didn’t know how to play Billiards. There was something in
it that I got hooked up with the sport and eventually I though THIS IS IT!

Who is your role model?

Dr. S.P Muthuraju (Rajkumar), Indian actor and singer of Kannada Cinema. I have watched his movies. I am much
fascinated the way he worked and achieved fame yet remained humble.

Which sport do you like apart from billiards?

I like football, it’s my favourite sport. I watch the World Cup every time.

Which sportsperson do you like the most?

I like the Snooker legend Mr. Ronnie O’Sullivan from UK. He is a genius and very sweet on table.

What quality one should possess being a billiards player?

Concentrating on her game

Hard work, dedication and an ability to be positive even in negative atmosphere. One should have confidence in self &
always avoid being negative, having positive attitude.
What is your philosophy on discipline?

Discipline means having confidence and training hard for success. One’s success is determined by one’s level of discipline
and perseverance.

When did you win the first National Championship and what was your reaction?

I won the Billiards Nationals in 2002, it was a great feeling. I did not know how to speak that time and could manage to
speak in English and Hindi.

How long it took you to win the World Women’s Billiard Championship after winning your first
National Championship?

After winning the World Championship 2012 with Clive Scott, Billiard Tournament Director

It took me ten years to win the World Billiards Championship in 2012 and also Senior Snooker Championship, because I
was working and I was practicing only during the lunch hour and after the office hours.

What were your best cherished memories in your sports career so far?

As soon as I won the World Billiards Championship, there was WLBSA President Mandy Fisher and Phil Mumford who
asked me “If we invite you to play, would you play?” I was surprised and said “Yes”. Few months later, I received an
invitation to play in World Billiards Championship 2012. There, I got the chance to play with Billiards Legend Mike Russell
(Points format) and in the time format; I was qualified from the group for top 32. There, I played with our Billiards
legend Geet Sethi. This was the best memory of my sports career.
How do you prepare yourself before tournament?

The ace player of Billiards

There is no preparation. I wake up at 6:30 am in the morning and prepare breakfast and lunch. I get ready and go to
office like any normal government servant. I work in the office. During the lunch hour, I practice for some time, again
work in the office and go for practice in the evening. After practicing for 2 to 3 hours, I go home, cook food and eat with
my husband Nagaraja, go to sleep at 12 at night. This is my everyday routine.

What you would be if not a billiards player?

I would be a home-maker, working as a typist in the Horticulture Department.

What triggered you to take up billiards?

I became a member of KSBA which is also called as “Mecca of cue sports”. Now, I could afford to practice more in the
right place and spend more dedicated hours. In the first year (1996) of my sports career, I became State Snooker No.3
and in 1997, earned No.3 position in Billiards National. These achievements gave me confidence to go forward in sport. It
is all because I love this sport.
What were the hurdles that you faced during your athletic career?

It was easy to play the Nationals because we were sponsored by the KSBA for reaching on the top 1 and 2 in the State
Championship. We needed lot of money to play the World Snooker or Billiards Championship abroad, so any tournament
abroad meant money from my savings or I have to pledge my jewellery. I am very fortunate that my husband always
believed in me and supported me financially as well. I never thought that financial crisis proved to be a bar for me.

Tell us more about the coaches and training you have in your career so far?

After two years since I started playing at KSBA, there was Shri. Arvind Savur, Great Champion, Arjuna Awardee and
Dronacharya Awardee who started coaching me. I used to go to his house for coaching. If he had not taught me, I would
not have been a champion. Also, at KSBA; I was trained by Sri. S. Jairaj, former coach of National Billiards Team and M. G
Jayaram, national champion & great player. Their help, mentorship and training took my game to a higher level.

What does your sport has taught you as a real life lesson?

Gargi Gupta & other awardees with Ms. Maneka Gandhi at Rashtrapati Bhavan

As a sportsperson, you need to have patience to fight against the odds. I believe more in efforts rather than big talks.
“My answers are on the table.”
What is the role of Media in highlighting your efforts and achievements?

Umadevi fourth from the left of the first row along with PM Narendra Modi

In a sportsperson’s life, media coverage is very important. That time, when I was playing at world level, media published
my photos and articles that helped me a lot to get in the limelight. Even today, they are doing an excellent job. Because
of them, my achievements and efforts were highlighted and I received the Nari Shakti Puraskar.

How was your experience when you won the Nari Shakti Puraskar?

I was amongst the 30 people who were honoured at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I did not expect this. I, along with my
husband went to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Mrs. Maneka Gandhi was also there. Women belonging to different niches of
society were honoured for the spirit of courage. It was a wonderful moment to receive the Puraskar from the honourable
President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind.

How do you stay so humble?

No, I am not humble. I am very aggressive. I only concentrate on my practice and never thought of what I might achieve.
I was an ordinary typist at the horticulture department. I just love to share my story with everyone.

Why do you think youngsters should take up billiards / snooker as a sport?

Youngsters should take up billiards / snooker seriously as they are getting more opportunities now. There are invitational
tournaments and even the Government is now providing funds. But, even if they take up any sport; all they have to do is
to play with respect and enjoy the game.
Finally, what’s next you are looking forward once you retire?

I am not retiring right now, may be after one or two years. Once I get retired, I will start coaching the burgeoning stars to
level them up for the big moves in their sports career.

What do you think about the initiative taken by Sportsmatik.com?

It is very Good! I have not seen such a platform earlier and the efforts to bring sportspersons and related entities
together as a community is a brilliant concept. You guys have done a commendable job. I will always look forward to help
them as I am also for the love of sports.

Revanna Umadevi Nagaraj is now a part Sportsmatik, Checkout her profile of at the link given below-
https://sportsmatik.com/athlete/iamumadevi