24th August, Palembang: First block leader, Korea survived the on-slaught from Malaysia and Chinese Taipei in the second block to win the Women's 6-Player Team gold medal at the 18th Asian Games Palembang on Friday.
Baek Sungja, Ryu Seoyeon, Lee Nayoung and debutants, Han Byul, Kim Hyun Mi and Lee Yeonji started off the second block with 1355 but had their first block lead of 73 pins reduced drastically to just 15 pins.
Malaysia's Esther Cheah, Syaidatul Afifah, Natasha Roslan, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah and 2017 SEA Games Masters gold medallist, Shalin Zulkifli added an impressive 1407 to reduce the deficit and to stay in second position.
Chinese Taipei's Chang Yu-Hsuan. Pan Yu-Fen, Chou Chia-Chen, Huang Chiung-Yao and Wang Ya-Ting struggled in the medium oil pattern with 1267 but remained in a distant third. Philippines, Indonesia and Japan were the other teams closely bunched up together from fourth to sixth.
Korea pulled away from their closest rival after a stunning 1494 in the fifth game. Although Malaysia knocked down a respectable 1336, they found themselves 173 pins behind the leader. The Taiwanese recovered with 1343 to move closer to the Malaysians.
The leader then closed out the block with 1398 to win their first gold medal of the competition with 8338. Malaysia settled for second with 8149 to add to one gold they won in the Women's Trios and one silver in the Men's Trios.
The real and closely fought battle was amongst Chinese Taipei, Philippines and Indonesia which literally came down to the last frame. Chinese Taipei ended first with 7696. Philippines was looking poised and all they had to do was to have two of the players spared their last frame and four to strike.
But two of them had splits which they could not convert while out of the other four, only two managed to strike leading them to miss the podium by 18 pins with 7591. Next up was host nation, Indonesia. Sharon Limansantoso failed to convert a split, Putty Armein only spared her final frame, Alisha Nabila also encountered a split.
Despite Aldila Indryati spared, Nadia Pramanik and Tannya Roumimper both struck their last frame, the Indonesian finished in a heart-breaking fifth, one pin behind Philippines. Chinese Taipei survived to pick up the bronze medal.
Syaidatul Afifah of Malaysia topped the All-Events standings with 2918 from two events. Nadia Pramanik of Indonesia snatched second spot with 2862 while Lee Nayoung of Korea took third spot with 2841.
Because only two players from each NOC were eligible to qualify for the Masters finals, those who finished outside the top 16 Mirai Ishimoto (JPN-18th), Wong Son Ian (MAC-20th), Tannya Roumimper (INA-22nd), Yanee Saebe (THA-24th) and Yuri Sato (JPN-29th) will replace those not eligible.
The Men's 6-Player Team event will be contested tomorrow over two blocks of 3 games each in the morning and in the afternoon. The top 3 finishes will be awarded the medals and 16 players (2 from each NOC) will qualify for the Masters finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Palembang, Indonesia.
Korea holds slender lead
Japanese trio retains title
Japanese trio takes first block lead
Malaysia strikes first gold
Malaysian women off to a great start
Asia's biggest stage set for battle