19th Kaohsiung International Open Bowling Championships
Deserving victory for Thai and Singaporean
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17th August, Kaohsiung: Defending champion, Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand successfully defended the Men's Open Masters title of the 19th Kaohsiung International Open while Arianne Tay became the youngest-ever Singaporean to win the Ladies' crown.

The champion only needed one game to win the title for the second consecutive time after the topseed edged challenger and 2018 East Asian Championships Masters gold medallist, James Lui of Hong Kong, 194-181 in the title match.

The Thai struck in the opening frame but suffered a split in his second frame to trail Lui by 12 pins. But Annop bounced back brilliantly with three strikes-in-a-row to take a slender lead of 13 pins as Lui failed to match his opponent's strides.

Lui was givien a chance and drew level when Annop missed a single-pin spare in the eighth frame. But then the Hong Kong national handed the advantage back to Annop when he too missed a single-pin spare in the ninth frame.

Newly-crowned champions, Annop Arromsaranon and Arianne Tay with their trophies

Annop went on to strike in the ninth frame and picked up his bonus frame with a spare to seal victory while Lui was unable to recover from his costly mistake. The champion pocketed the top prize of NT$250,000 (approx. US$8,000).

Lui, who had earlier dispatched second-seed and compatriot, Ernest Kwok and winner of the first stepladder match, Lee Tak Man of Macau, 237-172-221 in the semi-final, took home NT$120,000 as first runner-up.

Lee, who defeated fifth-seed, Chen Kuan-Yeh of Chinese Taipei and sixth-seed, Atchariya Cheng of Thailand, 215-192-193, settled for NT$60,000. Kwok, Chen and Atchariya earned NT$40,000, NT$35,000 and NT$25,000 respectively.

Annop topped the earlier 8-game Round 2 finals with 1911. Kwok finished second with 1822 and Lui third with 1791. Lee, Chen and Atchariya made the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth positions. Singapore's Basil Dill Ng missed the cut by 45 pins finishing in seventh position.

Men's Open top three winners, Lee, Annop and Lui

Meanwhile, 2019 Asian School Singles gold and quadruple silver medallist, Arianne Tay of Singapore became the youngest-ever to win the Ladies' Open Masters title after the 15-year-old defeated second perfect gamer, Yang Su Jin of Wondo Haengseong City twice in the final.

Tay took the first match, 207-197 to force the topseed into a second deciding game. The Korean bounced back from the defeat with three strikes-in-a-row while the Singapore youth rolled a double in the third and fourh frames to trail by 10 pins.

Yang failed to keep her strong pace as Tay added another double in the sixth and seventh frames to move five pins ahead of the Korean and taking the tie down to the wire for the tenth frame to decide. Tay suffered a 4-7-10 split which she failed to convert ending with 205.

Yang also stumbled badly to a baby split which she also failed to convert, handing the match and the title to the Singpaorean, 199-205. The champion won NT$80,000 (approx. U$2,550) while Yang settled for NT$40,000.

Ladies' Open top three winners, Yang, Tay and Chou

Tay had earlier breezed past compatriot, Jermaine Seah and winner of the first stepladder match, Chou Chia-Chen of Chinese Taipei, 257-166-203 to advance to the final. Chou ousted fourth-seed, Choi Ae Rim of Wondo Haengseong City and fifth-seed, Su Shu-Wen of Chinese Taipei, 195-156-192 in the semi-final.

The first runner-up topped the Ladies' Round 2 finals in the morning with 1708 ahead of two Singaporeans Tay and Seah in second and third with 1705 and 1673. Choi, Su and Chou made the cut for the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth positions with 1647, 1644 and 1643 respectively.

Chinese Taipei Bowling Association hosted a victory banquet at the official hotel, Ambassador and the President, Mr Wu Fu Lung presented the trophies and prizes to the winners of the Open, Graded, Senior, Youth Open and Youth 18 and Under divisions.

The top 16 Asian men and top 16 Asian women based on their standings in the Round 2 finals, qualified for the ABF Tour Chinese Taipei 2019, which will be held at the same bowling center tomorrow.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei.

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