Award Name : Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Year of Award : 1992
Award for : Sports and Games
Location : New Delhi, NCT, India
Geet Sethi is a renowned Indian billiards player who brought laurels for the country. He is a professional player of English billiards who gained popularity for his performance during the 1990s. Sethi is also a prominent former snooker player. Geet Sethi has won the professional level World Championships 6 times and the amateur World Championships for 3 times. The talented player holds 2 world records in English billiards. Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi have established the Olympic Gold Quest, a Foundation for the promotion of Sports in India. Because of having an outstanding career spanning above 35 years and still counting, the new Billiards maestro Geet Sethi has made his name synonymous with the three-ball game in India.
Geet Sethi was born in Delhi on April 17, 1961 Punjabi family and was raised in Ahmedabad. There, he did his schooling from St Xavier's School and completed his college education from St Xavier's College. He is the holder of a MBA degree from BK School of Management. Geet Sethi started started to play professional level billiards at the age of 21. He startled and astonished all the Billiards fans when he defeated the great artist of the game Michael Ferreira and won the National senior title in the year of 1982. He carried on this good performance to prove that his win over M. Ferreira was not a fluke and in 1985, he won the IBSF World Billiards Championship by defeating Bob Marshal in a marathon 8-hour long final. He won the championship again in 1987.
In the 1989 National Snooker Championships held at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh he compiled a 147 break in snooker. This was the official maximum by any amateur. He is considered to be a genuine inheritor of M. Ferreira. Geet Sethi's extraordinary run went on and he started to stun the whole world by his own artistry from the year of 1992. In that year he won the World Professional Billiards Championship by constructing a world record break of 1276 points which is the World Record under the three pot rule and was the highest break made in the last five decades. In the process, he broke the previous record of 1149 points set by M. Ferreira. Geet Sethi dominated the sport of Billiards throughout much of the 1990s with his brilliance. Geet Sethi is also remembered by the world of Billiards for his classic encounters with archrival Mike Russell. Geet Sethi was honoured with the Padma Shri Awardin the year of 1986. He was also given the Arjuna Award in the same year. After that, Sethi received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1992-93 and the K.K. Birla Award in 1993 as well. He successfully won the World Professional Billiards Championship in 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2006. This apart, he also won three world amateur titles in 1985, 1987 and 2001. He also won a Gold Medal at the 13th Asian Games at Bangkok in 1998. Geet Sethi has been the Asian Billiards Champion in 1987 and won the National Billiards Champion in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1997 and 1998.