22nd July, Bangkok: Youth girls, Nur Hazirah Ramli of Malaysia and Ramita Sarntong of Thailand finished one-two in the Youth Open Masters finals at the 47th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open ahead of Musaab Aladawai of Oman and Le Minh Duc of Vietnam sharing third spots.
Carl Zhafran Aisy Bin Redzuan got off to a brilliant start with a 245 opening game to lead 2023 Asian Youth All-Events gold medallist, Vilinkorn Kiedkaew of Thailand by 10 pins. Singapore's Andre Chew shot the tournament's first 300 in the second game to take over the lead.
Reigning Thailand Open Women's champion, Ramita Sarntong moved up to second with 215 and 231 with Lee Minh Duc in a distant third. Despite managing only 171 in the third game, Chew held on to the lead with Nur Hazirah hot on his heels.
The Malaysian took over the lead after Chew suffered another poor game of 159 with Sarntong remaining in second, 9 pins adrift. The leader reeled in 189, 237 and 213 in her next 3 games and held the leaad with 18 pins going into the eighth and final game.
Although Nur Hazirah ended with just 192 and Sarntong storming home with a superb 242, the 18-year-old Malaysian hung on to win the crown with 1730. The Thai settled for second with 1724, 6 pins away.
Musaab Aladawai, who was third before the final game, had to share third spot with Le Minh Duc, who shot a stunning 258 in his last game on a total of 1698. Chew rounded up the top 5 with 1673. Nur Hazirah pocketed the top prize of 55,000 Thai baht (approx. US$1,600) as champion.
Sarntong earned 28,000 baht while Le and Aladawi shared a total of 14,000 and 7,000 after tieing third position. Singapore's Thaddaeus Mok won the Youth Under-18 Masters title with 1818 in the earlier finaals.
Vietnam's Tran Hoang Khoi captured the Youth Under-15 Masters title with 1342 while Chinese Taipei's Tsai Yu Lun took the Youth Under-13 Masters title with 1137. Qualifying for the Graded and Senior divisions will continue for another two days before their finals on July 25.
The classic-format qualifying rounds for the Open division will commence on July 26 and end July 28 over three blocks of 5 games each divided into four squads. Finals will be contested on July 29.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.