24th November, Hong Kong: A glamorous and colourful opening ceremony with the traditional dotting the the lion's eyes held at SCAA Bowling Centre, marked the start of the week-long 2018 CGSE Million Tinkle World Men Championships.
>The ceremony was graced by His Excellency Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah, President of World Bowling and Asian Bowling Federation, His Honorable Mr. Matthew Cheung Kin-Chung, GBM, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administrative Office, HKSAR, Mr. Timothy T.T. Fok, GBS, JP, Honorary IOC Member and President of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.
>Also present at the opening were Mr. Karl Kwok, MH., Vice-President of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China and Chairman of Major Sports Events Committee, Dr. Haywood Cheung, Chairman of Title Sponsor, Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange and Ms Vivien Lau, BBS, JP, Chairman of HKTBC and Secretary General of World Bowling.
>Mr. Kevin Dornberger, CEO of World Bowling, Mr. Michael Seymour, Tournament Director, Mr. Marios Nicolaides, Technical Delegate, Mr. Ulf Sjoblom, 2nd Vice President of World Bowling, Executive Board members of World Bowling and Executive Board members of Asian Bowling Federation.
Among them were countless distinguished guests and consular in Hong Kong of some of the participating countries, representatives of various government departments, title sponsors, official partners, official hotels, official drinks, official attire and lane maintenance partner, Kegel LLC.
>Master of Ceremony, Mr. Eric Lee kicked off proceedings by first introducing the guests of honours and special distinguished guests before annoucing the march past of the fourty-seven participating countries from all over the world.
Speeches started off with the Organizing Chairman, Ms Vivien Lau extending a warm welcome to all the participating teams to Hong Kong's World City. She also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to HE Sheikh Talal for being awarded the hosting right of the prestigious World Men Championships.
>She added that a championship of this magnitude is like making an exotic dish and that it needs many ingredients to make it happen such as government support and funding, endorsement and encouragement from Hong Kong National Olympic Committee, sponsorship from the commercial sector of the community, a good venue and efficient tournament official and staff.
>His Excellency, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah then addressed the opening by thanking HKTBC for bidding for the right to host the championships. He also expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the government of Hong Kong, sponsors, partners and the participating countries.
Speeches were also delivered by Mr. Matthew Cheung, GBM, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration's Office of HKSAR and Mr. Timothy Fok, GBS, JP, Honorary IOC Member and President of Spots Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.
>Mr. Matthew Cheung, Mr. Timothy Fok, HE Sheikh Talal and Dr. Haywood Cheung were all invited to perform the traditional dotting the the lion's eyes and tying the "Good Luck" ribbons to mark the official opening. Mr. Matthew Cheung subsequently declared the championships officially opened as the drums roll again to end the lion dance. At the end of the dance routine, the lions displayed several best wishes banners to wish all participants the best of luck in their quest to win honours for their countries.
>Fourty-seven countries from the American Zone (PABCON), Asian Zone (ABF), newly-formed African Zone and European Zone (ETBF) comprising of 264 men and 106 team officials from Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and United States, Afghanistan, Australia, China, DPR Korea, Guam, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and host, Hong Kong.
>The participating countries from Europe were Belarus, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.
>World Bowling's appointed sports consultancy agency, Reddentes Sports will be providing Live Streaming the daily highlights of the qualifying rounds. The host broadcaster for the live streaming will be provided by I-Cable TV network and will be fed to Starhub Singapore, Astro Malaysia, True Vision Thailand, Sportscast Taiwan, TVRI Indonesia, Sky Sports New Zealand, USA & Canada Flo Sports, Elisa Finland, HTV/VTV Cab Vietnam, Sky Net Myanmar while all other territories via the Olympic Channel.
>World Bowling is still negotiating broadcasts with other channels in the Netherlands, Korea, Japan (News Access), China, United Kingdom, Sweden, Philippines and Mongolia. The 12-day event, which will commence on November 24, will showcase 265 of the world's top men athletes from fourty-seven countries.
>Competition will kick off with the Singles on November 25 and 26, the Doubles on November 27 and 28, the Trios event over two blocks of 3 games each on November 29 and 30, the 5-player Team event over two blocks of 3 games each on December 1 and 2. The Singles Semi-finals and Final will take place on December 1, the Doubles Semi-finals and Final on December 2 and the Trios Semi-finals and Final on December 3.
>The 5-player Team Semi-finals and Final will be staged after the Masters Round 1 and Round 2 on December 4 while the Masters Round 3, Semi-finals and Final on the last day of competition on December 5. The top 24 in the All-Events standings (total 24 games) will advance to the Masters finals. A victory banquet hosted by Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress will conclude the championships.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong, China.
Fourty-seven countries for world championships