31st Asian Intercity Bowling Championships
Yancheng sweeps Masters gold medals
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12th November, Yancheng: Host city emerged as overall champion of the 31st Asian Intercity Bowling Championships by sweeping the Men's, Women's and Women's Senior Masters gold medals while Beijing claimed the Men's Senior title.

Doubles silver and Team gold medallist, Wang Zhiyong finally won his first individual gold medal after he defeated 17th-seed, Edward Cheng of Happy Valley, 2-1 in the Men's Masters best-of-3 final match. Wang took the first match, 238-224 but Cheng forced a third-match decider winning the second match, 231-193.

The 34-year-old national bowler bounced back brilliantly to win the third match, 249-208 to claim the gold medal. Wang sailed past 14th-seed, Lam Man Kit of New Territories, 2-0 in the semi-final to advance to the final.

The champion had earlier dispatched 8th-seed and Singles bronze medallist, Tam Tsz Sun of Macau, 2-0 and 7th-seed, Ko Young-Min of Jeju with another 2-0 victory in the quarter-finals.

Wang Zhiyong with his first individual gold medal

Cheng had to go to the third match to reach the final with a 2-1 victory over Rudolfo Tan Jr. of Paranaque in the semi. Cheng, who made the cut for the Masters finals as one of the qualifiers did not compete, eliminiated top-seed, Qi Wangkang of Yancheng, 2-0 in the Round of 16 and another Yancheng finalist, Xu Chen 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, triple gold medallist Peng Rui completed an eventful outing as she captured her fourth gold medal with victory over defending Masters champion, Lara Posadas of Paranque in the Women's finals. Peng beat Posadas, 268-214 and 247-235 for a high-scoring 2-0 victory for the gold.

Peng also defeated Koh Yang-Rye of Jeju, 2-0 in the first semi-final match while Posadas beat her team-mate, Anne Marie Kiac, 2-0 in the all-Filipino semi-finals. The champion edged Hong Kong's Gigi Leung, 2-1 in the Round of 16 before another tough 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals over Oh Hwa Jeong of Jeju.

Posadas reached the semi-finals after she beat Singles silver medallist, Tang Ya-Chun of Chinese Taichung, 2-0 in the quarter-finals. She also eliminated a third Korean, Yang Young-Ja, 2-0 in the Round of 16.

Peng Rui winning her fourth gold medal of the championships

Triple gold medallist, Li Guanghui won her forth gold medal after she defeated Zhang Junying of Suzhou, 2-0 in the Women's Senior finals. Li edged another Suzhou finalist, Cai Aiping, 2-1 in the semi-finals. Zhang beat Yancheng's Jia Wenxia, 2-1 in the other semi to reach the finals.

Zhu Yongqui won the Men's Senior Masters gold medal with a 2-0 victory over Pasay City's James Dela Cruz in the finals. Zhu edged Johnson Cheng of Paranque, 2-1 in the semi-finals. Cruz beat Mike Chan of Kowloon, 2-0 in the other semi.

Yancheng emerged as Men's champion with a medal haul of 4-1-2 for a total of 32 points. Yancheng also emerged as Women's champion with a medal tally of 4-1-0 for a total of 25 points. The host city capped off a superb outing to emerge as overall champion with a total 9 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals totalling 57 points.

Paranque finished second with a medal haul of 1-2-4 and five fifth positions while Hong Kong finished third with 2 silver and a fourth-place finish. Next year's championships will be hosted by Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia for the second time.

Men's Senior and Women's Senior Masters champions, Zhu Yongqui and Li Guanghui

Photos by Terence Yaw in Yancheng, China.

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