19th MILO Storm U22 International Junior All-Stars 2018
Malaysia, Singapore captures Youth Open titles
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8th December, Petaling Jaya: 2018 Jaya Ancol Singles Youth Masters champion, Muhammad Azizi Naim of Selangor claimed his second international youth title after winning the Youth Boy's Open Masters title of the 19th MILO Storm U22 International All-Stars 2018 while Singapore's Charmaine Chang bagged the Girl's crown.

Topseed Azizi had a better start than his opponent and challenger with a spare in his opening frame while national youth Navern Netaneel failed to pick up a three-pin spare. As Nataneel spared his second frame, he stumbled to another open frame on a split.

Azizi took a massive lead 46 pins when he strung together four consecutive strikes from frame two. Netaneel recovered with a double in the fourth and fifth frames and a spare in the sixth, Azizi kept a good gap of 45 pins.

Netaneel then rolled three strikes-in-a-row to narrow the gap but Azizi kept his cool with a double of his own in the ninth and tenth frames to end the match with 225. Netaneel struck home but went down narrwly with 222.

Muhammad Azizi Naim with his trophies and prize of RM25,000

The champion picked up the top prize of RM25,000 (approx. US$6,000) en-route to winning his second international youth title. Netaneel, who pocketted RM15,000 as first runner-up, had earlier defeated second-seed, Cullum Borck of Australia and 2018 World Men Championships Doubles gold medallist, Tun Hakim of Malaysia, 222-192-216 to advance to the championship match.

Hakim earned RM8,000 and Borck RM5,000 as second and third runners-up. Azizi earned topseed when he completed the 10-game roll-off earlier with 2249. Borck, who led for the first six games, settled for second with 2191. Netaneel and Hakim completed the top four stepladder finals in third and fourth with 2188 and 2185. Singapore Sports School's Lim Dingxi missed the cut by 10 pins in fifth with 2175.

Meanwhile 2015 Asian School Doubles bronze medallist, Charmaine Chang breezed past fourth-seed and challenger, Nur Hazirah Bte Ramli of Abas/Sarawak, Malaysia, 255-211 to win her first international youth title.

Both title contenders started their match brilliantly with three consecutive strikes each. But the Singaporean added another three as Nur Hazirah spared her next three frames to trail Chang by 34 pins.

Chang made no mistake by sparing her next three frames before another three strikes in the tenth frame. Although Nur Hazirah doubled in the eighth and ninth frames, her final frame did not matter to the outcome of the match.

The Singaporean won RM18,000 as champion while, Nur Hazirah, who outclassed second-seed, Nurul Alyssa Junaidi and third-seed, Ameera Dato Aznel, 279-210-188 in an all-Malaysian first stepladder match, picked up RM10,000.

Nurul Alyssa and Ameera took home RM5,000 and RM3,000 as second and third runners-up. Chang claimed top spot for the stepladder finals after winning the earlier 10-game roll-off comfortably with 2376 pinfalls.

Youth Girl's Open champion, Charmaine Chang with her trophies and prize

Nurul Alyssa finished 155 pins adrift in second with 2221. Ameera and Nur Hazirah completed the top four stepladder spots in third and fourth with 2210 and 2187 respectively. Mr Ng Ping Loong, General Manager of Title Sponsor, Nestle Products (M) Sdn Bhd, was on hand to present the trophies and prizes to the winners.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

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