18th Asian Games Palembang 2018
Three-in-a-row for Korea
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25th August, Palembang: Korea won their third consecutive Asian Games team gold with an emphatic victory in the Men's 6-Player Team event at the 18th Asian Games Palembang 2018 as Hong Kong picked up the silver medal and Chinese Taipei the bronze.

Choi Bokeum, Hong Hae Sol, Park Jong Woo, Kim Jongwook, Koo Seonghoi and Kang Heewon got off the second block with a 1397 opener to find their lead over their nearest rival cut down from 239 to 189.

Hong Kong's Ivan Tse, Lau Kwun Ho, Tony Wong, Eric Tseng, Michael Mak and Wu Siu Hong got off better on a sizzling 1447 but remained in second. Japan's Tomoyuki Sasaki, Shogo Wada, Shusaku Asato, Daisuke Yoshida, Takayu Miyazawa and Shota Koki managed only 1339 to stay in third.

Chinese Taipei rolled 1374 to move up one notch into fourth position while Indonesia, who was fourth after the first block, dropped one spot into fifth. Korea responded in their next game with a superb 1452 to increase to a more comfortable gap.

Korea successfully defending the Men's Team title

Hong Kong conitnued on a good pace with 1406 but found their gap to the leader back up to 235 pins. Japan shot 1396 to pull away slightly from Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and Thailand, who started to pick up their pace.

Korea eventually eased off with 1313 in their sixth and final game after a grueilling nine hours of bowling to win their first gold medal of the games with 8540. Just as Hong Kong thought they had enough of a gap secure the silver, things started to turn against them.

Chinese Taipei's Wu Hao-Ming, Lin Pai-Feng, Chen Hsin-An, Hung Kun-Ki, Chen Ming-Tang and Hsieh Chin-Liang ended brilliantly with 1418 for a total of 8166 and had a shot at the silver. Two of Hong Kong players needed to mark their final frame and two needed to strike.

Wong struck, Tseng spared and Mak spared leaving anchorman, Wu needing to strike. To the delight of their supporters and team-mates, Wu cooly delivered what was called for and struck to finish with 1183 and a total of 8175, securing the silver and leaving the bronze to the Taiwanese.

Japan was disappointed to have missed out on the podium in fourth position with 8131. Indonesia too had a chance of clinching the bronze but ended in fifth position with 8120 instead.

Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia topped the All-Events standings with 2925 after shooting a stunning 1524 in the Team event. Japan's Takayu Miyazawa finished second with 2921 while Trios silver medallist, Muhd Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia took third spot with 2879.

Hong Kong clinching the Team silver medal

Two each from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and one each from Thailand and Hong Kong made the cut for the Masters finals. Kang Heewon of Korea and Chen Hsin-An were the two who had to give up their place to Hardy Rachmadian of Indonesia and Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia who was 17th and 18th in the standings.

The men will contest the Masters finals on August 26 and 27 over two blocks in the Round-Robin matchplay format, with 10 pins added as a bonus for a win and 5 pin for a draw. The top 3 with the highest pinfalls will advance to the Stepladder shootout finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Palembang, Indonesia.

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