29th SEA Games Tenpin Bowling Championships
Malaysia wins gold and silver, Indonesia bronze
Photo Album 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Medal Album

20th August, Kuala Lumpur: Rafiq Ismail defended the Men's Singles event to give Malaysia their first gold medal at the 29th SEA Games Tenpin Bowling Championships while Adrian Ang added a silver for a one-two finish.

2014 Incheon Asian Games singles gold medallist, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand got off the block with a cracking 279 in his opening game to lead Malaysia's Adrian Ang and Indonesia's Diwan Rezaldy, who shared second spot on 258.

Singapore's Darren Ong surprised the field by taking over the lead after he downed a stunning 270 to add to his first game of 254. The Thai suffered a lowly 183 to slip away as Ang remained in second with another superb 257 in the second game.

The Singaporean continued to lead the pack at the halfway mark despite managing only 197 but his gap to the persuing Malaysian was reduced to just five pins. A second Malaysian, Ahmad Muaz moved up into third spot.

Adrian Ang and Rafiq Ismail with their silver and gold medals

Ong stumbled to another poor game in the fourth and Ang took the opportunity to take over the running with 228 in the fourth game. Rafiq, who was gradually making up grounds, trailed his compatriot by eight pins. Rafiq rolled a slightly better fifth game of 227 to move into the lead while Ang managed 215 to stay in contention, just four pins adrift. Indonesia's Yeri Ramadona fired two big games to take up third.

With less than ten pins seprating the front runners, it was indeed a tense affair and it came down to who can better manage the huge pressure. With the capacity crowd firmly behind the Malaysians, it was no surprise that Rafiq prevailed to finish in style with 255 and sealed the gold medal with 1418.

Ang also ended strongly with 243 to give Malaysia a one-two finish and earned the silver medal with 1402. Ramadona kept his cool to end with 235 to claim the bronze medal with 1380.

"I took a huge gamble when I change my ball after fifth game," said the 20-year-old Rafiq after his trimphant victory. "I'm glad and relieved that it worked and allowed me to finish the last game with a high score."

"I knew it was not going to be easy especially with this strong field," said the 29-year-old Ang, who was making his fourth SEA Games appearance. "I made sure I put in 110% concentration and try to win a medal. I'm dedicating this to my wife and my newborn baby daughter Aurelea, who will be one month old on August 24."

2015 SEA Games singles silver medallist, Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand nearly repeated the feat with a strong final game of 279 but fell short by 12 pins, missing the podium to finish fourth with 1368. Cheah Ray Han of Singapore completed the top five with 1366.

Men's Singles bronze medallist, Yeri Ramadona

Host nation, Malaysia certainly made their mark on the first day of competition winning one gold, two silver and one bronze medal. Sin Li Jane and Shalin Zulkifli won the Women's Singles silver and bronze medals earlier. Competition will resume with the Doubles event tomorrow.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuala Lumpur.

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