4th September, Bangkok: Newcomer and two-hander, Liu Jia-En of Chinese Taipei won his first international title after claiming the Men's Grade B Masters crown of the 46th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open while Korean women dominated the Ladies' Grade A.
Liu had a superb start with a 237 opener to lead Thailand's Vilinkorn Kledkaew by 10 pins with Malaysia's Iddin Bin Sorkapli one pin away in third. Youth 18 & Under Masters first runner-up, Nguyen Le Minh Tri of Vietnam was fourth another two pins adrift.
The 20-year-old from Taichung then scorched the lanes with a stunning 268 in his second game to open up a 56-pin margin. A second Thai, Chookiat Samakkeetam moved into second after posting 264 followed by Sorkapli remaining in third.
A 201 in the third game saw Liu sharing the lead with Nguyen after the latter added a superb 267 as Samakkeentam slipped to third, 17 pins adrift. The Taiwanese added 214, 224 and 212 in his next three games to pull away from the field and increasing his margin to 60 pins. Nguyen and Kledkaew traded second spot and unable to get close to the leader.
Liu ended the finals in style with back-to-back 235s to claim victory with 1826. Nguyen again settled for second position with 1756 ending with a strong 258 while Kledkaew clinched third position with 1713. The Malaysian and a second Vietnamese, Nguyen Manh Tuan completed the top five.
Meanwhile, bowlers from the Korean National Sports University, Seoul dominated the Women's Grade A Masters finals by taking up the top six positions. You Da Yeong took an early lead but soon saw Kim So Hee and Oh Hyun Ji tussling for the lead in the first half of the 8-game finals.
But in the second half, You picked up her pace with 255, 236 and 238 before ending with another 238 to seal victory with 1797. Another Korean, Seo Min Ji stormed home with 234 to snatch second position with 1665, 132 pins adrift.
Kim settled for third position with 1623 while Oh, Kim Chae Yeon and Lee Jae Gyeong completed KNSU's domination from fourth to sixth positions respectively. Karen Song and Natalle Ang of Singapore were the two best non-Korean in the finals to finish seventh and eighth.
The Men's Grade A and Senior Masters finals will commence later today after lane maintenance. The qualifying rounds for the Open division will start tomorrow for the next three days before the finals on September 8.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.