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Malaysian retains men's title

21st March, K.Lumpur: Zulmazran Zulkifli became the first Malaysian to successfully defended the Men's Open Masters title when he narrowly defeated hot favourite, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, 2-1 in the finals of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

The victory did not come easy though as Zulmazran was stretched to the third and deciding game in a best-of-3-games final match before becoming the first-ever Malaysian to retain the prestigious men's crown.

The national elite squad member started the first match brilliantly with five strikes-in-a-row to draw clear of his opponent and fourth-seed, Surasak Manuwong. Despite a late charge by the Thai, Zulmazran took the first game 236-233.

In the second game, the Malaysian turned in a faultless game for a score of 216 but Surasak won the second game after knocking down eight strikes-in-a-row to end with 257 and drew level with one game each forcing Zulmazran into the third and deciding game.

Men's Open Champion
Zulmazran Zulkifli successfully retaining the title

Zulmazran started off well with a double strike while Surasak had failed to spare in his second frame. The Malaysian had to knock down as many strikes as he could to shut the door on his opponent which he did and got his local supporters on their feet.

Defending champion, Zandra Aziela almost gave Malaysia a double celebration but her hope of retaining the title fell off when she lost to Singapore's Jazreel Tan, 375-489 in the Ladies' title match.

Zandra, who had earlier finished fifth in Round 3 edged teammate, Shalin Zulkifli, 481-473 in the quarterfinals to set up yet another match with a fellow Malaysian, Sin Li Jane, who defeated seventh-seed, Siti Safiyah Amirah, 495-450 in her quarterfinal match.

But the 16-year-old Jane lost to Zandra in the semifinals, 403-471 allowing Zandra to have a crack at the title she took last year. Jazreel Tan also eliminated her teammate, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan, 485-468 in the semi before going on to take the title.

Men's Open Semifinalists
Semifinalists, Surasak, Wu, Kang and Zulmazran

Zulmaran ended with 248 and although the Thai struck home, it proved too late losing the decider, 236-244 and the match 1-2 to the Malaysian.

"I was probably lucky to make the quarterfinals yesterday after dropping off the top 8 before the final game," echoed the newly-crowned champion, Zulmazran Zulkifli. "Thank god I had a big final game which got me through.

"I know my strength is in the knockout style of play and I made the semi after beating topseed, Sithiphol, who has been playing well in both the two rounds. The match against Surasak was probably my toughest-ever match that I've played. He has been bowling well the whole week.

Meanwhile, Malaysia was denied a double victory when second-seed, Sharon Koh was beaten by Singapore's Geraldine Ng, 1-2 in the first Ladies' Open Masters semi-finals. The other Malaysian hopeful and twice champion, Shalin Zulkifli was eliminated in the quarter-finals by another Singaporean youngster, Bernice Lim, 1-2.

PBA pro bowler and Team USA member, Carolyn Ballard claimed the Ladies' crown after she beat challenge and eighth-seed, Geraldine Ng, 2-0 in the finals. The debutant also became the second American women to win the title which her compatriot, Diandra Asbaty triumphed in 2006.

"I'm so excited and happy to win here in my first major tournament outside of the US," said the 44-year-old PBA pro bowler, Carolyn

Ladies' Open Champion
Newly-crowned Ladies' Open champion, Carolyn Ballard

Ballard. "Of course when you take part in a a championship like this, you'd want to do well but to take this victory is even sweeter.

"I've been to China and Singapore for exhibition matches for Brunswick but this is my first tournament in Asia. I'll have to make sure there is no major tournament during the time when I come back to this lovely country next year to defend the title.

Carolyn reached the finals after she ousted Bernice Lim, 2-1 in the second semi-final match and her fellow American and fifth-seed, Missy Bellinder, 2-1 in the earlier quarter-finals. Geraldine advanced into the semi by taking out her team-mate and topseed, Shayna Ng, 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

"Sure I'm slightly disappointed not to win but I'm glad that I've made this far and to reach the finals," said the 23-year-old reigning Singapore national champion, Geraldine Ng. "Carolyn is a very experienced bowler so I guess I'll learn from this and come back again stronger next year.

Zulmazran pocketed the men's top prize of RM35,000 for his superb

Ladies' Open Semifinalists
Semifinalists, Carolyn, Sharon, Geraldine and Bernice

effort with RM17,000 going to Surasak Manuwong and RM7,000 each to both the losing semi-finalists, Kang Bo Long (3rd) and Wu Siu Hong (4th).

Carolyn took home RM17,000 with Geralding settling for RM7,500. Sharon Koh (3rd) and Bernice Lim (4th) won RM4,000 each. Sharon Koh, Shalin Zulkifli, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Kang Bo Long and third best Malaysian male finisher, Daniel Lim will form Team Malaysia for the Canon Cup 2009.

The Rest-of-the-World team is made up of Carolyn Ballard (USA), Geraldine Ng (SIN), Surasak Manuwong (THA), Wu Siu Hong (HKG) and Cassidy Schaub (USA). Both teams will meet on a head-to-head matchplay over 5 games tomorrow at 1.00pm for a total prize of RM45,000.

The Canon Junior Cup for youths under-12 will be held in the morning before the Canon Cup 2009, which will be telecast LIVE over Astro Supersport (Channel 811). Immediately following this, the Kaoshiung World Games Challenge will be held.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Thai, Singaporean tops Round 2

20th March, K.Lumpur: Men's Open Round 1 leader, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand continued his fine run to end Round 2 and advance into the knockout stage of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open as pole sitter while Singapore's Shayna Ng topped the Ladies' division.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

The contest for both the Men's and Ladies' Open divisions in Round 2 was indeed intense as the faith of the bottom half of the top 8 ladies and men to advance into the knockout stage was only firmed up in th final game of the 8-game finals.

Thailand's Sithiphol Kunaksorn, who also topped th earlier 8-game Men's Open Masters Round 1 finals, snatched pole only in the final game to advance into the next stage as topseed with 1862. Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong, who was leading at one stage, dropped to third with 1829.

Malaysia's chance of retaining the men's title was given a boost when Kang Bo Long and Zulmazran Zulkifli took second and eighth position

Men's Open Topseed
Sithiphol Kunaksorn topping both the rounds

to join the Thai into the knockout stage. Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong, who was leading at one stage, dropped to third with 1829.

Thailand certainly has plenty to cheer about when favourite, Surasak Manuwong finished fourth with 1822 while another pace-setter, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE took fifth place with 1819. Team USA member, Cassidy Schaub did well to end the round in sixth on a total of 1815.

Singapore's only male survivor, Lee Yu Wen stormed home with two massive games to snatch seventh position with 1781 while defending champion, Zulmazran Zulkifli squeezed into Round 3 in eighth with 1779.

Zulmazran was way off the pace going into the final game but it was his team-mate, Mohd Syafiq Ridhwan and Daniel Lim who faltered to give Zulmazran the chance to make the cut. The margin amongst the top 8 was as close as you can get in this instensely fought round.

Pasut Punsanthaveekul of Thailand who finished second to Sithiphol in Round 1 and and fifth perfect gamer, Jay Leon Guerrero of Guam in third. But both Pasut and Guerrero failed to advance.

Men's Open Top 8
The top 8 men advancing into Round 3

Teo Li Ying of Singapore, newcomer, Dyan Caronacion of the Philippines and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan made Round 2 after taking up fourth to sixth positions. The rest have to contest their Round 1 tomorrow.

Malaysia had a dream start when two-time national champion, Sharon Koh set the pace with a superb 256 opening game but it was neighbouring Singapore who had the cheer when three of the women were in the top 8 after the second game.

Shayna Ng continued to lead the field at the halfway after she registered 223, 221, 218 and 257 for a 919 4-game series with American PBA pros, Carolyn Ballard and Missy Bellinder, right on her tail.

Two high games of 247 and 268 from Sharon Koh put her back to th lead but only 8 pins ahead of Shayna, who downed 275 in the sixth game while the Americans stayed close to the leading duo.

Ladies' Open Topseed
Shayna Ng upstaging the stronger field to take top spot

The pace of the Singaporean was simply just too strong for Sharon when she went on to post 266 and 223 to end the round with 1877 as topseed for the next stage. The Malayian southpaw settled for second with 1801.

Two-time Malaysian Open champion, Shalin Zulkifli stormed home with 245, 236 and 279 to snatch third spot from Carolyn on a total of 1799 with the latter finishing fourth on 1793 and Missy Bellinder fifth with 1786.

Two Singaporean youngsters, Bernice Lim and Geraldine Ng upstaged their more experience opponents to clinch sixth and the final eighth spot with 1775 and 1739 sandwiching another PBA pro, Wendy MacPherson in seventh with 1757.

World Cup champion and PBA pro, Lynda Barnes was unlucky missing the cut in ninth position by just 3 pins despite finishing strongly with 246 and 215 in her last two games. Barnes amassed 1736 with defending champion, Jazreel Tan in tenth a further 6 pins away.

Liza Clutario of the Philippines, who led in the Round 1 finals contested earlier, failed to make the cut and finishing 19th. Zatil Iman, who was second to the Filipina in Round 1, also failed to advance after she managed only 17th position.

Ladies' Open Top 8
The top 8 ladies advancing into Round 3

There will be four best-of-3 games matches played in the quarterfinals on Friday morning. The topseed will meet the eighth-seed, the second-seed vs the seventh-seed and so on with the ladies division starting at 9.30am. The winners will advance into the semifinals again under the format of the higher seeded to meet the lowest seeded.

The winners of the semifinals will then meet each other in the title match while the higher scoring loser in the semifinals will be placed third. Astro Supersport (Channel 811) will telecast the semifinals from 1.00pm onwards LIVE.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Singapore women dominate qualifying

19th March, K.Lumpur: Singapore's Amanda Ng, Jazreel Tan and Shayna Ng dominated the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying rounds of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open after taking the top 3 spots on Thursday afternoon.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Shayna Ng registered an improved 702 over her earlier attempt of 666 to give herself a 6-game total of 1453 with two of her best efforts of 732 and 702 to move into pole position on Tuesday.

Although her lead was short-lived, it was fortunate that her lead was overtaken by fellow-compatriot, Amanda Ng. Amanda was lyng in sixth position after she totaled 1408 from two attempts of 740 and 668.

Determined to make the top 3 cut, Amanda was in scintilating form this morning when she posted a superb 781 and a new total of 1521 to take over the lead of the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying standings.

Amanda Ng
Amanda Ng totaling 1521 for the lead

The trio have assured themselves direct entry into the Round 2 finals by being the top 3 qualifiers in the overseas pool. The top 3 local women, Siti Safiyah Amirah, Sharon Koh and Shalin Zulkifli will also be the 3 seeded for Round 2.

The remaining seven qualifiers from both the overseas and local pool will be joined by the 12 from the mixed pool to battle it out in Round 1 for the top 21 spots who will join the seeded qualifiers for Round 2.

In the men's open division, Remy Ong is the best Singaporean qualifier who occupied fourth and will advance directly into Round 2. Remy totaled 1514 behind pole sitter, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, Sayed Ibrahim of UAE and Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia second and third.

Lee Yu-Wen has also made the finals and occupied 10th on a 6-game total of 1441. Noteable qualifier is Team USA member, Cassidy Schaub, who has a unique two-handed delivery style of play and also a lefty. The debutant finished eighth in the overseas pool with 1499.

The top 4 seeded qualifiers were Adrian Ang, Muhd Nur Aiman, Alex Liew and Kang Bo Long. The top 4 from the local pool and 4 from the overseas pool will skip Round 1.

Cassidy Schaub
Zulmazran winning the seventh Canon daily high series camera

The remaining 8 from both the local and overseas pool plus the 13 from mixed pool will be joined by the defending champion and 3 from desperado squad to battle in the 8-game Round 1 finals on Friday.

The top 21 at the end of the round will be joined by the 8 seeded qualifiers for another 8 games in Round 2 before the field is cut to the top 8, who will advance into the best-of-3 games elimination knockout finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Narrow victories for youths

18th March, K.Lumpur: Rodson Tong of Malaysia and New Hui Fen of Singapore took narrow victories in the Milo International Youth Boy's and Girl's Open titles of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open on Thursday morning.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

National youth from Sarawak, Aris Ardila set the early pace in the first two games of the 10-game finals with Perak's Muhammad Amin Razak in second, 19 pins adrift. But the lead was short-lived after Singapore's Basil Low, who scored the tournament's fourth perfect game, took over the running albeit only 4 pins ahead of Aris.

Two scintilating back-to-back games of 258 and 280 shot another national youth, Rodson Tong Juinn Chuan into the front of the pack with a margin of 53 pins trailed by the consistent Sarawakian, Aris.

Rodson's lead came under threat when his team-mate, Aris shot a superb 279 in the eighth game to reduce the gap to just 8 pins. But Rodson kept his cool to fire home 244 and 220 in the last two games to come away victorious with a total of 2333.

Boy's Open Champion
Rodson Tong's first Youth Open title

"This is the sweetest win for me after being six years in the national youth squad," said the 19-year-old Rodson from Pahang. "I've done well in other tournaments but only managed seconds and thirds so I'll always cherish this win."

"I kept telling myself not to get too excited like in the past and just to focus on continuing to make good shots. My coach reminded me not to turn my hand too much which is one of my bad habits.

Aris settled for second despite posting 220 and 214 in his last two games ending with 2295 while Muhammad Amin Razak gave Malaysia a 1-2-3 finish in third with 2255. Justin Lim Chun Lian of Singapore and antoher Malaysian national youth, Khoo Khai Beng rounded the top 5.

Meanwhile, Malaysia almost had a clean sweep of the Milo International Youth Masters but was unfortunate when two national youths pace setters from Sarawak, Dayang Khairuniza and Jacqueline Sijore, were beaten in the last two games by a Singaporean youth.

Jacqueline was leading at the halfway mark and by the sixth game, was just 2 pins ahead of compatriot, Dayang Khairuniza in second. Singapore's New Hui Fen was down in mid-field with her team-mate Anthea Soh closer to the leading duo.

Khairuniza took over the running after the eighth game and was triled by Anthea 41 pins adrift. Hui Fen fired 279 to draw nearer to the leading pack. Another sizzling 269 in the ninth and a 204 in her final game sealed the victory for Hui Fen.

Girls Open Winners
Youth Girls winners, Jacqueline, Hui Fen and Khairuniza

"I'm so happy to win my first major youth open international title," said the delighted 17-year-old New Hui Fen. "I'm also hopeful that this victory will help me get a spot in the Asian Youth Games which Singapore will be hosting.

"My coach, Francis reminded me to move further out to the right as the lanes got drier and it worked well for me. I got more and more comfortable toward the end especially after the two massive games.

The champion, who bagged two gold medals in the Asian Intercity Championship in Macau in November and won the Penang Pesta Under-16 title in December, claimed her first Open title with a total of 2202.

Jacqueline and Khairuniza were disappointed to finish second and third with 2181 and 2143 respectively despite looking certain of the 1-2 finish in the early stages. Anthea Soh finished fourth with 2115 with Khrisna Darshini completing the top 5.

Apart from the trophies and Milo hampers that the winners have won, the champions will also be awarded Azimuth watches each.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Day 5 ends with new leaders

17th March, K.Lumpur: Day 5 of the on-going Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open ended late Tuesday evening with Sayed Ibrahim of UAE and Jazreel Tan of Singapore taking over the lead in the Men's and Ladies' Open Masters standings.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Sayed Ibrahim, who shot the tournament's second perfect game to win the Wizmuth Jagbomber watch yesterday when he posted a 3-game qualifying series of 782, went one up better when he downed his second best attempt of 743.

His 6-game tally improved to 1525 for the overall lead in the Men's Open standings. But the high series of the day award of a Canon PowerShot A1000IS digital camera was won by Jaya Ancol's Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia after he registered 775.

The improved score gave the Indonesian a 6-game total of 1516 and moving up to second behind Sayed. Overnight leader, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand dropped to third with 1508 whilst Hussain Al-

Sayed Ibrahim
Syaed Ibrahim, the new overall leader

Suwaidi also bettered his tally to 1507 and fourth, thereby gaining driect entry into Round 2 finals.

In the local front, Muhd Nur Aiman remained top with 1506 to lead Adrian Ang in second on 1489. 2006 Malaysian Open champion moved up to third with 1487 with national backup squad member, Kang Bo Long in fourth thus making the top 4 cut into Round 2.

Day 5 also saw defending champion, Jazreel Tan of SBF Singapore grabbing the overall lead by just 1 pin. The two-time national champion recorded 698 with lines of 236, 246 and 216 but then fired a superb 745 with lines of 278, 208 and 259 for a 6-game total of 1443.

Although Jazreel will automatically qualify as defending champion into Round 1 finals, her pole position would give her a direct entry into the Round 2 finals. Overnight leader, Missy Bellinder of USA dropped to second in the overseas pool and third overall on 1426.

Sngapore's Shayna Ng made the top 3 with a total of 1398 from two series of 732 and 666 relegating Indonesia's Happy Soediyono into fourth position on 1386. 2003 World Championship Trios gold medalist, Liza Clutario rounded up the top 5.

Jazreel Tan
Jazreel Tan, new leader and defending champion

Siti Safiyah Amirah, who took over the lead in the local pool with 1442, remained in front followed by Sharon Koh and two-time Malaysian Open champion, Shalin Zulkifli second and third positions with 1407 and 1382 respectively.

Meanwhile, three members of Team USA and PBA pro bowlers, Caroline Ballard, Lynda Barnes and Wendy MacPherson arrived on Tuesday evening and will be taking to the lanes tomorrow morning. The trio will be making their debut at the Canon 32nd Malaysian Open under the sponsorship of Sunway Resort and MTBC.

Qualifying ended for the Youth Boys and Girls Graded Masters finals this evening and their finals will be staged on Wednesday morning. The Youth Open Masters qualifying will end tomorrow (March 18th) and their finals will be held on Thursday morning.

The open and graded categories will have their final day of qualifying on Match 19th and the finals will all be held on Friday, 21st March.

Team USA Women
Caroline Ballard, Lynda Barnes
and Wendy MacPherson

The best Malaysian finishers in the finals (3 men and 2 women) will be matched up against the best 5 finishers from the Rest of the World in the third running of the Canon Cup 2009 on Sunday.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Two perfect games in one day

17th March, K.Lumpur: The intensity of the qualifying rounds at the on-going Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open saw Malaysia's Adrian Ang and Singapore's Basil Low scoring the tournament's third and fourth perfect games on Tuesday.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Adrian, who led the Men's Open Masters qualifying table from day 1, had to give up the lead when his fellow teammate, Muhd Nur Aiman bettered his total with a second best series of 776 on lines of 289, 228 and 259 this morning to take over the lead with 1506.

Determined to regain the lead, Adrian took to the lanes at the 12.00 noon squad to fire 12-consecutive strikes and become the third bowler to achieve the amazing feat. But his effort came to naught when he fell short by 17 pins to pip Muhd Nur Aiman.

To top that, there was no prize awarded for the perfect game after India's Mayank A. Patel had shot the first 300 to win the Canon FS11 video camcorder worth RM2,799 and Sayed Ibrahim of UAE winning the

Day 4 Award Winner
Jason winning the Day 4 high series camera

Azimuth Jagbomber watch worth RM7,000 for being the second perfect gamer yesterday.

At least, his improved effort assured the youngster an automatic advancement into the Round 2 finals. Adrian will join Aiman together with 2004 Malaysian Open champion, Daniel Lim and Aaron Kong after the latter finished third and fourth with 1433 and 1425.

Thailand's Surasak Manuwong maintained his pole position in the overseas pool with his 1508 total. Two Hong Kong national squad members, Wu Siu Hong and Eric Tseng did well to finish second and third with 1437 and 1412.

Asian champion and Jaya Ancol's Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia, squeezed into the top 4 after two superb 708 and 702 series for a total of 1410.

Adrian Ang
Adrian shoting the third perfect 300

2005 Singapore national champion, Jason Yeong-Nathan took home a Canon PowerShot A1000IS digital camera after he scored the highest series on the fourth day with 803 during his Singles.

Former Team USA, Missy Bellinder continued to top the Ladies' Open Masters overseas pool with 1426. The 22-year-old PBA pro bowler finished ahead of SEA Games gold medalist, Happy Soediyono of Indonesia and World Championship Trios gold medalist, Liza Clutario second and third with 1359 and 1351 respectively.

The overall lead belong to 2005 Malaysian Open champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah after she posted 719 to add to her other best effort of 723 for a total of 1442. Siti also took over the lead held by team-mate Sharon Koh with 1407.

Two-time Malaysian Open champion and PBA pro bowler, Shalin Zulkifli

Shalin Zulkifli
Shalin Zulkifli making the top 3

dropped to third with 1382 but will be contented with the automatic advancement into the Round 2 finals.

Meanwhile, SBF's youth team member, Basil Low of Singapore shot the tournament's fourth perfect game in the Youth Boy's Open qualifying round. Despite ending his attempt with a superb 741, his next subsequent attempt of 580 did not make any impact to his standings in the youth table.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Thai national kegler on a roll

16th March, K.Lumpur: Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, who won yesterday's high series award, was on a roll as he stretched his lead in the Men's Open Masters qualifying table of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open on Monday.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

The Thai, who shot 784 in his Singles to win Day 3 high series award of a Canon PowerShot A1000IS digital camera, had taken the lead in the Men's Open Masters overseas qualifying pool after recording 730 and 688 for total of 1418.

In his third attempt today, Surasak started off moderately with 213 but then silenced the bowling centre when he reeled 11 consecutive strikes in his second game. On his final shot, the Thai made a seemingly perfect delivery but left a stubborn pin 10 standing thus ending with 299.

Surasak then rounded off a superb performance with 266 in his third game to give him a score of 778. Adding to his other best score of 730, he took his tally to 1508 to become the new overall leader.

Day 3 Award Winner
Surasak winning the Day 3 high series camera

"The 3-game format in the qualifying round is much better because there is less room for us to make mistakes," said the 30-year-old Surasak, who returned to the Thai national team after a year's absence.

"I'm looking forward to the finals and hope to do well and get a chance to be selected for this year's Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam. It won't be easy as the field is very strong."

Surasak led Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong in second after he totaled 1400 with India's Vijay Punjabi third after improving his score to 1316.

The Thai's superb effort pushed down overnight leader, Adrian Ang into second spot. The two-time national champion amassed 1472 to lead the table since day 1. But Adrian sits comfortably in pole position in the local pool which will allow him to advance into the Round 2.

2004 Malaysian Open champion, Daniel Lim finished second in the local pool on 1433 followed by Aaron Kong third with 1425. Muhd Nur Aiman's total of 1420 made up the top 4 who will advance straight into Round 2.

Wu Siu Hong
Wu Siu Hong taking up second spot

Meanwhile, Sayed Ibrahim of UAE shot the tournament's second perfect game in his opening game at the 5.30pm squad this afternoon to win the Azimuth Jagbomber watch worth RM7,000 sponsored by Azimuth Watch Co.

Sayed followed it up with 269 and 213 for a 3-game total of 782 which also beat Syimir Abdul Razak's 781 effort and looked set to add the daily high series award to the watch that he has just won. But there would be five more squads today.

There were no changes in the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying positions with Sharon Koh, Zandra Aziela and Shalin Zulkifli occupying the top 3 positions with 1407, 1375 and 1363 respectively.

Second Perfect Gamer
Sayed Ibrahim scoring the second perfect game

2008 Team USA member, Missy Bellinder topped the overseas pool with 1390 followed by two Indonesians Happy Soediyono on 1359 and Ivana Hie on 1266

Another bowler on a roll was national youth, Syimir Abdul Razak as he posted a sizzling 781 to add to his 749 earlier attempt and stretched his lead in the Youth Boy's Open Masters table.

Syimir, who finished first runnerup in last year's championship, will be aiming to go one up better this year with a victory. The SMK Seafield Subang Jaya Form 5 student was ropped into the national youth ranks after several outstanding performances in the Junior Circuits.

Syimir had already topped the Youth Boy's Open qualifying table after posting 749 and 668 for a total of 1417 in his two previous best attempts. He made his third round this afternoon and blizted the lanes with 267, 236 and 278 for a whopping 781.

Syimir Abdul Razak
Syimir surpassing the 1,500-mark with 1530

Added to his earlier 749, his new 6-game total amounted to a record-breaking 1530 making the youngster the first competitor to surpass the 1,500-mark.

"I felt good today and I made many good shots especially in the first and third game," said the 17-year-old Syimir. "I'm determined to win this year which will help me to be selected for this year's Asian Youth Games in Singapore."

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Lead changes hands twice

17th March, K.Lumpur: The lead of the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying table changed hands twice in a day as two-time national champion, Sharon Koh took over the lead on the third day of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Two-time Malaysian Open champion, Shalin Zulkifli shot to the lead of the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying standings early today with 1363 when she shot 707 to add to her other best attempt of 680 and dislodging overnight leader, Siti Safiyah Amirah on 1356.

Two back-to-back attempts of 711 and 696 from two-time national champion, Sharon Koh allowed the national elite squad member to move into pole position with a total of 1407. Sharon knocked down 229, 245 and 237 in her 4.00pm squad and 226, 227 and 243 in her 5.00pm squad.

Shalin dropped one spot further to third after 2007 Malaysian Open

Sharon Koh
Sharon Koh taking over the lead

champion, Zandra Aziela made improvements with a 7.15pm squad of 255, 247 and 193 for a 695 scoreline. Her two best squads totaled 1375 to move her up to second position.

Overnight leader, Siti Safiyah will have to try and improve her next attempt in order to make the top 3, who will automatically advance into the Round 2 finals. USA's Missy Bellinder also improved her score of 1301 to 1390 to retain pole in the overseas pool.

Meanwhile, ex-national and 2003 Malaysian Open champion, Azidi Ameran returned to bowling after an absence of two years from competitive bowling to record a superb 752 to win the Canon high series of the day award of a Canon PowerShot A1000IS digital camera.

Azidi's award winning effort coupled with his earlier 700 gave him a total of 1452 to lead the Men's Graded qualifying table. Overnight leader, Asrul Azmir dropped to second with 1413 followed by Mat Salleh Jalani third with 1395.

In the Men's Open division, Adrian Ang maintained his lead from Day 1 on a total of 1472. 2004 Malaysian Open champion, Daniel Lim posted a superb 742 to better his total to 1433 and taking up second spot.

Day 2 Award Winner
Azidi Ameran picking up the Day 2 high series award

National Elite squad member, Aaron Kong also made improvements to finish third with 1425 while 2008 Selangor Classic champion, Muhd Nur Aiman totaled 1420 to secure the final top 4 spot advancing into the Round 2 finals.

India's Vijay Punjabi was the only overseas bowler with a two series score on a total of 1221 which gave him the top spot. However his score will need to be improved substantially if he wants to make the finals when more overseas bowlers make their attempts.

Five national bowlers from Thailand and 13 national bowlers from Hong Kong have arrived and they will be making their attempts later today. Teams from Chinese Taipei, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and USA are expected tomorrow.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Indian shoots first perfect game

14th March, K.Lumpur: A two months stint in Malaysia paid handsome dividend as Mayank A. Patel of India shot the first perfect game during the Men's Graded qualifying round of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open on Sunday.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Mayank, who is part of a eleven-member team from India for a two-months coaching and training stint in Malaysia under national chief coach, Holloway Cheah, brought the house down when he reeled 12 consecutive strikes at the 2.00pm squad to become the first bowler to score a perfect 300.

His effort yeilded him a Canon FS11 camcorder worth RM2,799 courtesy of title sponsor, Canon Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd. Mayank appeared calm when he stepped up for his 12th and final shot and delivered a perfect pocket shot to record the amazing feat.

Slightly shaken by the excitment following the perfect game, Mayank only managed a second game with 170 but bounced back with 218 to end the qualifying round with 688.

First Perfect Gamer
Mayank with his perfect game prize of a Canon FS11 video camcorder

The improved score coupled with his other best 3-game attempt gave him a total of 1326 to move up from 11th to fourth in the Men's Graded qualifying table. Ex-national youth, Asrul Azmir currently topped the table with 1413.

"Sure I was a little tense but fortunately I was able to make a good delivery in the final ball," said the 20-year-old second year business management student of MS Ramaiah University. "The 11th frame was a lucky strike as the ball went over to the 1-2 pocket."

"The ball I used was only drilled by Holloway Cheah when I arrived here for the training and it's so much different from the one I used before. My interest in the game started when I saw some of the senior bowlers' ability to hook the ball so much."

I've only been in the sport for two years and I intend to train hard so that I could make this year's Asian Indoor Games squad and perhaps the 2010 Commonwealth Championship which India will be hosting."

R. Kanan and Mayank
TBF India secretary general, R. Kanan with Mayank

The first Indian to bowl a perfect game in an open championship was Rajmohan Palamappan during the 2007 SIngapore International Open. The second perfect game for this year's Malaysian Open is a Azimuth Jagbomber watch worth RM7,000.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

American debutant takes early lead

14th March, K.Lumpur: Former Team USA member and PBA pro bowler, Missy Bellinder took the early lead in the Ladies' Open Masters overseas pool in her debut at the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open on Saturday evening.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Bellinder posted a moderate 627 series based on 183, 245 and 199 on Friday but she did much better with 237, 192 and 245 in her second attempt today for a 674 scoreline to give her a total of 1301 and the lead in the overseas pool.

Bellinder, who made the 2000/2001 Team USA through a qualification roll-off, was instrumental when she anchored the team by striking out in her last frame to win the gold medal in the 2001 FIQ American Zone Championship in Argentina.

Since then, she became the only female that made the men's Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour and winning two regional

Day 1 Award Winner
Missy Bellinder making her debut

PBA titles. Bellinder was also selected into the 2008 Team USA without having to go for a roll-off based on her successes in the tour.

Some of her outstanding achievements were being awarded the Collegiate Bowler of the Year 2003 and the Most Valuable Player 2003. Her first visit to Malaysia was taking part in the 2006 Selangor Open but did not do so well.

"Although the lanes are very dry, they are playable," echoed the 22-year-old Bellinder, who took the chance of competing here after featuring in the DHC Cup last week in Japan. "I need to change my release and increase my ball speed in order to tackle the condition and hopefully, I'll improve my scores."

Meanwhile, 2005 Malaysian Open champion and national elite squad member, Siti Safiyah Amirah improved with her third attempt to move into the top of the local table. She fired 268, 207 and 248 after her previous best of 633.

Her two best attempts gave her a total of 1356 to lead two-time Malaysian Open champion and team-mate, Shalin Zulkifli in second with 1329 followed by two-time national champion, Sharon Koh thid with 1322.

In the men's open division, Milo World Junior All-Stars champion, Adrian Ang retained pole position with two superb three-game series of 737 and 735 to lead the local and overall standings with 1472.

Siti Safiyah
Siti Safiyah leading the local and overall standings

2008 Selangor Classic champion, Muhd Nur Aiman, who was the first bowler to record 11 consecutive strikes in his second attempt but miss the perfect game with 298, moved up to second after posting 677. His previous best was 674 giving him a total of 1367 to finish second to Ang.

Reigning national champion, Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan took third spot with 1359 followed by national backup squad member, Kelvin Keong in fourth with 1325. The top 4 will earn automatic advancement into the Round 2 finals.

Qualifying continues through to March 19th and the Round 1 and 2 finals will be staged on March 20th. The top 8 finishers in the Men's and Ladies' Open Masters Round 2 finals will advance into the best-of-three games elimination knockout rounds on March 21st.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Malaysian on a hot streak

14th March, K.Lumpur: Two-time Milo World Junior All-Stars champion, Adrian Ang is on a hot streak after setting the early pace in the qualifying rounds of the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open underway at Sunway Mega Lanes.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

National Elite squad member, Adrian Ang, who will turn 21 this July first took to the lanes for his Singles with a scintilating three game series of 237, 258 and 237 for a total of 732.

The 2008 Milo World Junior All-Stars champion then fired back-to-back 246 and finishing off with 243 for a total of 735 in his subsequent first attempt. Ang's effort also won him the daily high series award of a Canon PowerShot A1000IS digital camera sponsored by Canon Marketing.

At this morning's 11.00am squad, the youngster from Penang fired another sizzling 737 after registering 255, 236 and 246 which looked

Day 1 Award Winner
Adrian Ang winning the Day 1 high series award

set to winning another camera. His two best attempts shot him to the front of the Men's Open Masters qualifying table on a two series total of 1472.

"The lanes and conditions here is very suitable for my style of play and I've always done well here," said the two-time national champion. "The Malaysian Open title is one that I'd love to win to start off this year. It won't be easy when it comes to the finals with so many world-class bowlers competing."

Newly-crowned National champion and member of the national elite squad, Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan finished second with efforts of 688 and 671 in his two best attempts while ex-national, Jonathan Lim from Sarawak took third spot with 1212.

Meanwhile, 2007 Singapore Open champion and 2008 Asean University Games Masters Gold medalist, Zatil Iman impressed after recording 663 and 618 for a total of 1281 to head the Ladies' Open Masters table.

Two-time national champion, Sharon Koh finished second with a total of 1260 followed by 2005 Malaysian Open champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah and aational backup squad member, Nur Syakira Yeoh tieing in third with 1255. Defending champion, Zandra Aziela rounded up the top 5 with 1164.

National youth, Hurul Ainul stole the limelight on Day 2 of qualifying when she set the lanes ablazed with a superb 748 during her second attempt in the Youth Girl's Open division. Hurul opened with a superb 267 and then followed it up with 225 and 256.

Despite her earlier attempt where she only managed 550, the 16-year-old SMK Puteri student fro Seremban occupied top spot with a total of 1298. Tengku Aimi Laily of Kedah finished second with 1085.

Tengku Afnan Mahmood also from Kedah, occupied pole in the Youth Boy's Open division with a total of 1125 from two 3-game series of 582 and 543.

Hurul Ainul
Hurul Ainul looking set to win the high series award

Qualifying will run through to March 19th for the Open and Graded divisions. The Youth Graded qualifying will end on March 17th and their finals will be staged on March 18th. The Youth Open qualifying will end March 18th and their finals will be staged March 19th.

The Round 1 Open Masters finals will held at 9.00am on March 20th where the Men's Open field will be cut to 25 to join the top 4 local and top 4 overseas for ROund 2. Likewise, the Ladies' Open field will be cut to 21 to join the top 3 local and top 3 overseas for Round 2.

The top 8 finishers at the end of the Round 2 finals will advance to the elimination quarterfinal rounds where the topseed will face the eighth-seed, second-seed vs the seventh-seed and so on for a best-of-three games matchplays.

Winners will proceed to the semifinals and thereafter to the title match to determine this year's champions. The semifinals and finals will be telecast LIVE on Astro Supersport (Channel 811).

Photos by Terence Yaw.

Early birds for two months stint

13th March, K.Lumpur: A group of eleven aspiring bowlers from India have been here in Kuala Lumpur for the past two months for intensive training under national chief coach, Holloway Cheah while they gear up for the Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open which got underway on Friday.

Canon 32nd Malaysian Open Logo

Tenpin Bowling Congress, the eleven bowlers have been undergoing coaching from national chief coach, Holloway Cheah and his assistants since January.

The team, which comprised of nine male and two female bowlers, first arrived Malaysia with their secretary general Mr R. Kanan on January 12th. Kanan has since returned home but will re-join the team on March 14th.

Probably one of the most experienced bowlers in the team is Dasari Vijay Krishna, who represented India in the 2008 Asian Championship in Hong Kong. The engineering student from JNT University in Hyderabad was also the 2008 Andhra Pradesh State champion as well as second runnerup in the 2008 National championship.

Team India
The eleven members of Team India

This will be Desari Vijay's third appearance in the Canon Malaysian Open. Although he did not make the masters finals in his two previous attempts, Desari continued to work hard under his caoches, Gerald Samuel and Jimmy Lee back home before coming here.

"My very frist trip here was to buy new bowling equipment and really get serious in the sport," said 23-year-old Desari Vijay. "I was bowling socially with my friends and after a few times, I really got hooked in it. I hope this time I can qualify for the finals."

The rest of the team are Dhruv, Akaash, Dilbir, Abhishek, Ms Namraha, Ms Prathima, Shabber, Maynak, Prathik and Vijay P. Some of the bowlers were originally spinners but have since changed to hook-style of play.

Desari Vijay
Desari Vijay Krishna for his third Malaysian Open

The Canon 32nd Malaysian International Open kicked off today and most of the local bowlers will take to the lanes at Sunway Mega Lanes. All the national elite, backup and national youth squads will make their early attempts.

Photos by Terence Yaw.

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