17th Kaohsiung International Open Bowling Championships
Clean sweep of titles for Chinese Taipei
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8th July, Kaohsiung: Tsai Chih-Yuen and Wang Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei swept the Men's and Ladies' Open Masters titles of the concluding 17th Koahsiung International Open Bowling Championships at Southern Bowling Centre on Saturday.

Tsai, who was first runner-up of the 2016 ABF Tour China leg, edged challenger and 2010 Indonesia Open champion, Hsieh Chin-Liang, 188-183 in the second all-Taiwanese sudden-death decider. The topseed had lost the first match, 151-214 to Hsieh before regaining his composure to win his first-ever international crown.

The 36-year-old rolled a double in the second and third frame of the deciding match to open up a nine-pin gap. His lead was extended to 16 pins after Hsieh had an open frame in the fourth. However a split from Tsai in the sixth frame gave a six-pin advantage to Hsieh.

Hsieh kept a small gap right up to the tenth frame and could have taken the title from Tsai but a split costed the challenger.

Tsai Chih-Yuen with his trophy and top prize of NT$250,000

The first runner-up had earlier dispatched third-seed, Wu Hao-Ming and winner of the first match, Lin Pai-Feng, 235-187-197 to earn his spot in the final. Lin won the first match against fifth-seed, Wu Chen-Chih and sixth-seed, Chen Lin-Yi, 200-173-182 to advance to the second match. Tsai picked up the top prize of NT$250,000 (approx. US$8,000) as champion. Hsieh and Lin took home NT$120,000 and NT$60,000 as first and second runner-ups respectively.

Tsai also won the earlier Round 2 Masters finals with 16-game total of 3471 to advance to the stepladder finals as topseed. Hsieh finished second with 3386 while Wu Hao-Ming took third spot with 3326. Lin, Wu Chen-Chih and Chen Lin-Yi finished fourth to sixth positions making it an all-Taiwanese stepladder shootout affair.

Meanwhile topseed, Wang Ya-Ting needed only one match to win the crown, 188-183 against challenger and sixth-seed, Pan Yu-Fen in another all-Taiwanese finals. Pan had ousted second-seed, Tsai Hsin-Yi and third-seed, Huang Chiung-Yao, 202-138-159 to face the Wang in the final.

The first runner-up sailed past fourth-seed, Wang TIng-Wen and fifth-seed, Su Shu-Wen, 219-182-156 in the first Ladies' Open Masters stepladder match. The champion pocketed NT$80,000 (approx. US$2,600) for her effort while the first and second runner-ups settled for NT$40,000 and NT$20,000 respectively.

Wang Ya-Ting won the Round 2 finals earlier with 3353 ahead of Tsai in second with 3350 and Huang third with 3348. Wang Ting-Wen, Su Shu-Wen and Pan made the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth positions with 3213, 3166 and 3162 making yet another all-Taiwanese finals.

The prizes and trophies were presented to the winners by Mr Wu Fu-Lung, President of Chinese Taipei Bowling Association and Ms Vivien Lau, Secretary General of World Bowling at the Victory Banquet held at The Lees Hotel.

Wang Ya-Ting proudly displaying her champion's trophy

The top 16 men and top 16 ladies finishers in the Masters finals also qualified for the ABF Tour Chinese Taipei leg which will be held at the Southern Bowling Centre tomorrow. The LIVE telecast presented by Sportcast will commence at 3.00pm local time from the semi-final matches.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kaohsiung.

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