47th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Thai, Singaporean takes over lead
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26th July, Bangkok: Putana Buspanikonkul of Thailand and Charmaine Chang of Singapore took over the overall lead of 47th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open after topping the first block of Squad D on Wednesday evening.

Macau's Zoe Dias Ma kicked off Squad D with a stunning 269 opener to lead reigning Philippine Open champion, Darren Ong of Singapore by 22 pins with Korea's Hong Hae Sol a further 2 pins away in third.

But Dias Ma suffered a poor game of 145 to hand over the lead to Buspanikonkul, who started with 218 and added a sizzling 290 in the second game. Hong moved into second with 236. UAE's Hussain Al Suwaidi improved to take up third.

The 22-year-old Thai remained in the lead despite just managing 212 in the third game. The Korean continued to trail in second, 35 pins adrift. The leader ended the block with 256 and 231 for a total of 1207 in the lead, the first qualifier to surpass the 1,200 mark.

Putana Buspanikonkul taking over the lead with a 5-game total of 1207

Al Suwaidi stormed home to snatch second position with 1158 followed by Macau's Lee Tak Man in third with 1138. Singapore's Timothy Tham and Hong rounded out the top 5 with 1134 and 1117 respectively.

Buspanikonkul led the overall standings from 3 squads. Al Suwaidi took second position while Squad A leader, Hardy Rachmadian of Indonesia dropped to third with 1148. Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia and Squad B leader, Nevern Netaneel of Malaysia completed the top 5.

In the women's division, Charmaine Chang also became the new overall leader after the Singaporean amassed 1146 to top Squad D. Lee So Hee and Oh Se Ri of Daejeon were battling for the lead in the early stage of the squad.

Chang took over the running after the fourth game and ended with a superb 261 to clinch top spot. Jung Da Wun of Daejeon finished a distant second with 1049, 97 pins off the leader. Oh settled for third with 1042.

The Singaporean pipped Squad A leader, Sin Li Jane of Malaysia by 4 pins to become the new leader. Sin settled for second with her 1142 total while Wang Yu Huei of Chinese Taipei, dropped down to third with 1090.

The last squad of the day, Squad C will contest their first block of 5 games at 8.00pm local time. Qualifiers will resume with their second block of 5 games tomorrow and a final 5 games in the third block on July 28.

Charmaine Chang snatching the overall lead by four pins

The top 26 men plus 4 qualifiers from the desperado squad and the top 22 women plus 4 qualifiers from the desperado squad will make the cut for the Round 1 finals on July 29. The top 3 local and top 3 overseas qualifiers of the men and women division will skip Round 1 finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.

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