17th December, Seberang Prai: Kim Ho Jun and Kim So Yeon of Jeon-Nam Technology University, Korea swept the Men's and Women's Grade A Masters titles of the 47th Penang Pesta International Bowling Championships including all first and second runners-up positions.
Kim started superbly with 246 in his opening game followed by 224 and 266 to take the early lead followed by Faiz Dzuhairy of Brunei in second, 42 pins adrift. Kim led for another two games with 237 and 188.
Faiz trailed Kim after the fourth game but was over taken by Jo Hyeong Ho of Jeon-Nam Technology University. Jo went 16 pins ahead of Kim after a superb 257 in the sixth game. Kim slipped to second despite a respectable 215.
A third Korean, Park Seong Hun of Jeonnam Bowling rolled a stunning 277 to leapfrog into third. Kim fought back with 250 in the seventh game to regain the lead as Jo managed only 182. Park continued to trail the leading duo in third.
Kim went on to end the 10-game finals with 226, 194 and 225 to seal victory with 2271. Jo could not respond but did well to claim second position with 2225, 46 pins behind his team-mate. Park finished third to give Korea a one-two-three finish with 2221.
Muhammad Firdaus Idris of Sudu, Malaysia stormed home to snatch fourth position with 2190 while Faiz completed the top five with 2157. Kim pocketed the top prize of RM10,000 (approx. US$2,400) as champion. Jo and Park took home RM6,000 and RM4,000 as first and second runners-up. Firdaus and Faiz picked up RM2,000 and RM1,500 for their effort.
Meanwhile, Kim So Yeon gave Jeon-Nam Technology University a double celebrations when she won the Women's Grade A Masters title with 1680. Jung Ji Yun of KMCU, Korea set the early pace with 230 to lead Singapore's Amelynn Sim by 16 pins.
But Kim lost the lead after a poor 167 in her second game. Kim added 208 to her 202 opener to take over the running as Jung slipped eight pins behind her compatriot. Last week's Storm U22 Junior All-Stars Girl's Graded champion, Hong Hee Jin fired a superb 231 to become the new leader.
Kim trailed in second while a third Jeon-Nam student, Lee Soo Ji moved into third spot. Kim responded galantly with 234 to regain the lead after Hong stumbled to a lowly 159 in the fourth game.
The leader downed 213 and 215 and then suffered a poor 163 in the seventh game but was able to remain in the lead. Jung recovered with 233, 222 and 196 to move back up to second while Hong also recovered to trail in third.
Kim finished off in style with 224 to win the title with 1680. Oh ended strongly with 217 to snatch second spot with 1604. Jung settled for third with 1602 while Hong finished fourth with 1590. The best non-Korean was Ong Eileen of MBI, Penang rounding out the top five with 1551.
Kim picked up RM2,000 as champion with Oh and Jung taking home RM1,000 and RM800 respectively. Competition will conclude with the Mixed Open Round 2 finals at 10.00am local time. The top 3 with the higest pinfalls over 8 games will proceed to the Stepladder Shootout finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Seberang Prai, Malaysia.