The North Devon man becomes the first person to successfully defend the World Senior title.

A pool player from Ilfracombe has made history by retaining his world championship title.

Jason Twist successfully defended his International Pool Association World Seniors title as he triumphed in the final of the World Championships in Bradford on Saturday.

He becomes the first player to retain the title, which is for players over the age of 40, after winning his first world title last year.

Twist came up against Gareth Hibbot in the semi-final at Bradford Hotel, a contest that he won 7-6.

The North Devon man was the favourite to take the championship trophy going into the event’s final with odds at 1/6 for him to beat Jeremy Hooper. Twist’s 16 seasons of experience proved valuable early on in the final, as he went to a 3-0 lead.

Hooper began to fight back as the tie went on, getting back to 4-4, but it wasn’t enough as Twist won the tie 7-5 and reclaimed his seniors title.

Twist, 47, said: “It feels fantastic to retain the title.

“I’ve never been able to retain a championship. Every other time I’ve either lost or not made it, so to retain the title is brilliant.”

Jason, who practices at the St George in Ilfracombe, recalled the decisive point in the match with the frame tied at 4-4.

“I started strongly and got to 3-0, and then Gareth got it back to 4-1, then 4-4.

“He missed a black that would have seen him take the lead in the match. I managed to take the game and go 5-4 up.

“It was definitely the decisive point. If I had lost that after leading early on, it would have been massive.”

Twist, who plays for and runs Twisty’s Tornadoes in the Ilfracombe & District pool league, will be heading out to China next month for the 8-Ball World Championships.

Elsewhere at the World Championships in Bradford, Josh Durant reached the semi-finals of the doubles event.

The 26-year-old second year pro from Bideford was edged out of a place in the championship final with Max Nosko as they were defeated 7-6 by eventual title winners Gareth Hibbot and Tony Sheilds on Sunday morning.