27th October, Kuwait: Japan is poised to defend the 2016 Team title by topping the first block of the Men's 5-Player Team event at the 25th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships while Malaysia is eyeing their fifth gold with the lead in the women's division.
Doubles silver medallists of Yeri Ramadona and Diwan Rezaldy teamed up with their Indonesian compatriots, Billy Muhammad Islam, first perfect gamer, Hardy Rachmadian and Ryan Lalisang to get off the block with a brilliant 1183 in their opening game.
Hong Kong's Ivan Tse, James Lui, Eric Tseng, Tony Wong and Michael Mak also posted an equally brilliant 1178 to trail the Indonesians by a five pins. Japan's Tomoyuki Sasaki, Yuma Haraguchi, Yuki Tsutsumi, Takuya Miyazawa and Singles silver medallist, Shusaku Asato posted 1177 for third.
But Indonesia downed 105 pins less than their opening game to drop down to tenth. Japan added a stunning 1275 in the second game to not only take over the lead but gave themselves a comfortable 103 pins cushion.
Trios silver medallists and Kuwait's Mostafa Almousawi, Jasem Alsaqer and Khaled Aldubyyan, who teamed up with Saleh Salem and Basil Alanzi rolling 1126 and 1223 to take up second spot. Korea's Choi Bokeum, Kim Junyung, Kim Kyungmin, Lee Ikkyu and Kang Heewon took up third spot with 1157 and 1177.
Despite ended the block with a moderate 1150, Japan remained in the lead with 3602. Kuwait finished off well with 1217 to remained in second with 3566. Chinese Taipei's Wu Hao-Ming, Xu Zhe-Jia, Chen Chien-Ju, Chen Yuan-Hsin and Lin Pai Feng stormed home with 1252 to snatch third spot 3554.
China and Korea completed the top 5 with 3504 and 3500 respectively. The men will resume with their second block of three games tomorrow morning.
Meanhile, Malaysia was unstoppable when Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Nur Syazwani Sahar, Siti Safiyah AMirah and Shalin Zulkifli reeled in 1189, 1228 and 1224 to end the first block in the lead with 3641.
Korea's Lee Nayoung, Kim Moonjeong, Kang Sujin, Baek Seungja and Jung Dawun, who led the opening game with 1196, lost their lead after managing 1105 in the second game but bounched back with 1204 to trail Malaysia by 136 pins.
Chinese Taipei's Chien Hsiu-Lan, Chang Yu-Hsuan, Wang Ya-Ting, Huang Chiung-Yao and Tsai Hsin-Yi, who was third after the second game, ended poorly to drop into fourth on 3349. China's Peng Rui, Li Qing, Wu Yanqin, Fan Juanjuan and Zhang Chunli snatched third spot with 3366.
Australia also ended strongly to complete the top 5 with 3289. The women will resume with their second block of three games tomorrow after the men have completed their second block. The medal ceremony for the Team of 5 event will follow thereafter.
The top 16 men and top 16 women with the highest 24-game total from four events will qualify for the Round-Robin Matchplay Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games on October 29 and 30. The top 3 men and top 3 women will advance to the Stepladder shootout finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.
Malaysia adds two gold medals
Malaysia rules Trios first block
China survives to win Doubles gold
China tops Doubles opening squad
Korea delivers Doubles silver and gold
Perfect finish for Malaysian
Indian national snatches lead
Malaysia off to a dream start
Grand opening of Asian championships