16th December, Seberang Prai: Penang youth, Megat Zaqrul Haikal and Jeong Won of Ulsan City, Korea triumphed in the MILO Boy's and Girl's Youth Open Masters finals of the 47th Penang Pesta International Bowling Championships for their first international title.
Last week's 20th Storm U22 All-Stars first runner-up and national youth, Muhammad Syazirol and Abang Azriq Yazid of Sarawak set a blistering pace with 258 in their opening game to share the lead, 12 pins ahead of 2018 Asian School Masters gold medallist, Xavier Teo in second.
Syazirol could not keep pace with Abang managing only 177 to slip down to third while the Sarawakian moved six pins ahead of Teo after added 217 in the second game. But Syazirol bounced back with a sizzling 255 in the third game to regain the lead.
Teo took over second spot while a second Sarawak youth, Musayyar Khalid, who was consistent in his first three games, rolled 228 to move into third spot, just one pin ahead of compatriot, Abang Afiq slipping down to fourth.
Syazirol maintained his lead for another two games with 246 and 170 as Megat Zaqrul, who was keeping pace with the leading quartet, posted 208 and a stunning 269 to move into second and trailing the leader by 15 pins.
Megat overhauled Syazirol with 246 and 244 in his last two games to snatch victory with 1810, averaging an impressive 226.25. Syaizrol could not respond and settled for second with 1735. Abang clinched third position with 1702.
Two Jeon-Nam Technology University student, Bae Kyu Bin and Choi Myeong Seok stormed home to complete the top five with 1697 and 1692 respectively. Musayyar ended in sixth and Teo in eighth.
Meanwhile, Korean girls almost swept the top three positions in the Girl's Open division if not for Nurul Alyssa Junaidi of Malaysia finishing third. Jeong Won got off to a good start with a 240 opener with Nurul Anis Nabila in second.
But there was no stopping the Korean debutant as she romped home to win her first international youth title with 1735. Hong Hee Jin of Jeon-Nam Technology University, who had trailed Jeong most of the way, settled for second with 1660.
Nurul Alyssa, who at one stage occupied second, finished third with 1654. A second Jeon-Nam student, Jeong Hye Gyeong took fourth spot with 1616 while Nurul Ayunni Junaidi of Malaysia rounded out the top five with 1578.
Megat Zaqrul and Jeong Won earned RM4,000 and RM2,500 top prize, a trophy each and MILO products which were presented by Cik Rohani, Vice President of PTBPP. Qualifying for the Grade A and Mized Open division will end late tonight with the finals on December 17.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Seberang Prai, Malaysia.