26th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships
Korea eying Masters victory
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17th January, Hong Kong: Park Geonha and two gold medallist, Jung Dawun of Korea are eying to win the prestigious Masters titles of the 26th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships after topping the Men's and Women's Masters Block 1 finals on Tuesday.

Team gold and twice bronze medallist, Tun Hakim got off the block brilliantly by beating his team-mate, Ahmad Muaz 272-257 including a 10 pin bonus to lead Korea's Park Geonha by 5 pins.

Park, who has one silver and two bronze medals in previous events, also won his opening match by defeating his team-mate Ji Geun, 267-245 and 10 pins bonus to trail Hakim in second. The 25-year-old won his second match 266-224 against Macau's sole finalist, Lee Tak Man to take over the running.

Hong Kong's Tony Wong also won his first two matches with 266 and 246 to move into second spot, 21 pins behind the Korean. Park then won all his subsequent six matches except the fifth with 278, 256, 256, 267, 289 and 278 for a commanding lead of 2185.

Top 3 Block 1 finishers, Ahamd Muaz, Park Geonha and Muhd Rafiq Ismail

Wong, Lee, Muhd Rafiq Ismail and Ahmad Muaz, who were battling for second position, completed the rest of their matches but it was Muaz, who clinched second position with 2092 from four wins. Ismail settled for third with 2034, also winning just four matches. Early pace-setter, Hakim ended up in fourth position with 2012 despite winning all his eight matches while a second Korean, Ji Geun rounded up the top five wuth 1965 on five wins.

In the women's division, rookie Gillian Lim of Malaysia grabbed an early lead after beating team-mate, Sin Li Jane, 268-224 and earning the 10 pin bonus in her opening match to lead Jung Dawun by 12 pins. Jung defeated team-mate Yang Sujin, 256-189 in her first match and another team-mate Kim Jinju, 255-202 in the second match to take over the lead.

Lim trailed by 34 pins despite winning her second match, 209-188 against Korea's Baek Seungja. Jung led for the next two matches and lost the lead briefly to Singles silver medallist, Natasha Roslan of Malaysia after the fifth match.

But the Korean regained her lead atfer a win in the sixth and although she failed to win the last two matches, Jung finished the block in the lead with 2001 from a total of five wins. Trios gold medallist and 2016 Asian Championships Masters champion, New Hui Fen of Singapore ended in second with 1976 from five wins.

Debutant, Kim Jinju of Korea recovered from a weak start to finish third with 1946, also from five wins. Natasha took fourth position with 1936 from just three wins while Team silver medallist, Bernice Lim was Singapore's second best finisher in fifth with 1931 from four wins.

Jung Dawun leading New Hui Fen and Kim Jinju after the Women's first block

All Events champion, Cherie Tan of Singapore had a disappointing first block managing only ninth position with 1909 from five wins. The finalists will resume with their second block of seven matches and a position-round match tomorrow to determine the top 3 advancing to the Stepladder Shootout finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

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