4th September, Bangkok: Le Lam Tung and Youth 21 & Under champion, Le Minh Duc finished first and third in the Men's Grade A Masters finals of the 46th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open with ex-Thai international, Phumin Klanbida in second.
Klanbida had the best start in the finals with a superb 269 to lead Le Minh Duc of Vietnam by 22 pins and Singapore's Jonathan Ng a further nine pins in third. A second Vietnamese, Le Lam Tung, who had 235 in his opening game, added a strong 257 in the second to take over the lead.
Korean National Sports University's Ryo Ho Jun too added a strong 261 to his 224 opener to move up to second. Klanbida slipped down to third with newly crowned Men's Grade B champion, Liu Jia-En of Chinese Taipei in a close fourth.
Minh Duc fought back to become the new leader past the halfway mark followed by Singapore's Kenneth Ong moving into second spot as others had dropped their pace. Ryo shot the highest fifth game to lead the field as Ong continued to trail in second.
The Korean kept the lead for the next two games and look set to take the title but ended with a poor 184. Le Lam Tung stormed home with 289 to snatch victory with 1828. The Thai also recovered to claim second position with 1811. Minh Duc gave Vietnam plenty to celebrate when he finished a creditable third with 1778. Ong and Ryo shared fourth position with 1777.
In the Senior division, veteran Andrew Lee and Adam Chew finished one-two for Singapore with 1261 and 1246 respectively. Ex-international, Jack Wong set the early pace with the lead in the opening game but was soon over-taken by Lee in the second game.
Lee was the most consistent senior in the field coasting home the champion. Chew and another ex-international, Rick Tan traded second spot for three games but Chew ended better to claim second position.
Thailand's Pollakit Thanasang stormed home to snatch third position with 1226. Tan settled for fourth with 1225 while Michael Li Kuo Wan of Singapore completed the top five with 1221.
The competition will shift to the Open division with their qualifying rounds of five games each over the next three days. The Top 30 Men's Open after the 15 games plus top 4 desperado and the Top 26 Women's Open after the 15 games plus top 4 desperado, will qualify for Round 2 finals on September 8.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.