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Championship Title
32nd Thailand International Open Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Malaysian's hope of defending title dashed

28th April, Bangkok: Esther Cheah's hope of retaining the title of the 32nd Thailand International Open Bowling Championship were dashed after being edged by ex-national, Shalin Zulkifli in the ladies' final stepladder match while local favorite, Yannaphon Larpapharat took his maiden win.

32nd Thailand Open logo

Top-seed, Esther Cheah had a good start with a double strike to take a slender lead. Despite solid pockets in the 9th and 10th frames and leaving singles pins, striking could have sealed the match for the defending champion but as it turn out, she posted only 205.

Ex-international, Shalin Zulkifli displaying her old sparkle, struck home in the 10th fram to edge Cheah, 208-205 forcing the top-seed into a sudden-death decider. Both started the second game matching strikes for strikes but it was the challenger that continued her strikefest into frame seven and to take a commanding lead.

A split in the eighth frame did little damage and Shalin went on to claim the title with a convincing win over Cheah, 241-219. The champion had earlier disposed off overnight leader and third-seed, Siti Safiyah Amirah and Chinese Taipei's Tsai Hsin-Yi, 222-191-180 to have a crack at the title.

Ladies' Open Champion
Shalin Zulkifli returning to the winning circles

In the first ladies' stepladder match, sixth-seed, Tsai Hsin-Yi had knocked out fifth-seed, Choy Poh Lai and and local favorite, Angkana Netvriseth, 204-164-203 before going down to the eventual champion.

"Before this championship, I had bowled less than when I was in the Malaysian national team so I gave the Sinai Open a skip so that I can trained harder," said the 27-year-old four-time Asian Ranked No. 1. "It's been exactly one year ago since winning my last title in the Emir Cup so I'm glad I'm back in the winning circles again.

In the all-Thai men's stepladder finals, overnight leader and top-seed edged challenger, Kritchawat Jampakao, 202-194 to claim his first-ever international Open Masters title. Both the finalists started off the match cautiously but when Yannaphon brought in a turkey, the pressure got onto Kritchawat as he had a costly single-pin miss in the fifth frame.

Although the champion opened in frame seventh and Kritchawat got a double to narrow the gap to only 4 pins, the latter could not repeat the magic he displayed in his earlier match to stake any claims on the title.

"I had to scrub the Brunswick Strike Zone ball that I'd drilled for yesterday's first block as the right-side of the centre would hook less," said the university graduate in political science. "Everybody was telling me how good this ball is and I hadn't used it before this championship.

Men's Open Champion
Yannaphon Larpapharat claiming his maiden international title

"This is my first major international open title since I started bowling at 8. I'll take a break after the Doha Asian Games as I'll be pursuing my masters degree in the US next year. After I graduate, I'll be back to play in my most favorite sport.

The runner-up had earlier, knocked out fellow compatriot, Surasak Manuwong and winner of the first match, Son Young-Seok of Korea, 233-188-128 in the men's second stepladder match. Son ran into all sorts of problems as opposed to the first match when he outclassed fifth-seed, Won Joon-Yoon of Korea and Malaysia's only challenger, Zaid Izlan, 264-197-165.

The top 16 Asian men and top 16 women made the cut for the ABF Tour Thailand leg which will be played on Saturday, 29th April at S.F. Strike Bowl in downtown Bangkapi.

Photos by Terence Yaw, MTBC.

Malaysian, Thai tops first block finals

27th April, Bangkok: Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia and local favorite, Yannaphon Larpapharat topped the Ladies' and Men's Open Masters first block finals of the 32nd Thailand International Open Bowling Championship at B.S.C. Bowl, RCA Plaza Thursday evening.

32nd Thailand Open logo

The early pace was set by top local women, Angkana Netrviseth but soon handed the lead to reigning Malaysian National champion, Sharon Koh after the first 3-game series. Manila SEA Games and Asian Youth Team Gold medalist, Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia was right on the toes of the two leaders.

Siti Safiyah then picked up her pace with consistent string of high games to take control and the lead from the halfway mark to end the first block of 8 games with a total score of 1774. Defending champion, Esther Cheah of Malaysia, who was in mid-field, stormed home with 244, 247, 222 and 234 to snatch second spot with 1748 leaving the Thai girl in third just 2 pins adrift.

Siti Safiyah
Siti Safiyah leading the Ladies 1st Block finals

"The lane is like the first day we played and it wasn't hooking alot," said the 15-year-old Siti Safiyah Amirah. "Fortunately, I was able to make many accurate shots but I also left a lot of single pin standing.

"I don't want to make the same mistake in the Malaysian Open when I led the first block and then faded off in the second. I hope to keep the same pace tomorrow and at least make the stepladder finals," added the leader.

"I had a bad start but I immedaitely made changes to my line from game two onwards," said the defending champion, Esther Cheah. "I found a better line in the second half of this block and I could close the gap. I feel confident that I can stay close to the leaders tomorrow and hopefully I can make the stepladder finals," added Esther.

Last year's second runner-up, Choy Poh Lai also impressed with superb performance to finished fourth with 1722 while perfect-gamer, Kang Hyun-Jin of Korea made up the top 5 in fifth position with 1716.

In the men's division, local favorite, Yannaphon Larpapharat was a runner-away leader with a total of 1819. The 22-year-old university student led from the word "Go" and was a class of his own ending the first block with a margin of 33 pins.

"The lanes are not easy and doesn't hook alot but luckily I drilled a new ball that can hook more," said the 22-year-old leader.

"We will be playing the second block on the right side of the center which has better back end and we will see a lot of high games. I have to be very focus if I want to maintain the lead and make the stepladder finals," added Yannaphon, who won the 2005 ABF Tour Thailand leg.

MO 1stBlk Top 3
The top 3 leader of the Men's Open 1st Block finals

Three Koreans failed to topple the leader despite finishing strongly. Youth Open first runner-up, Won Jong-Yoon totaled 1788 to finished ahead of compatriots, Son Young-Seok and Oh Young-Ki in third and fourth positions on 1756 and 1746 respectively.

The finalists will continue their second block of 8 games tomorrow morning (Friday, 28th April) at the end of which, the top 6 in each division will make the cut for the stepladder finals. The top 16 Asian men and top 16 women will qualify for the ABF Tour Thailand leg which will be played on Saturday, 29th April at S.F. Strike Bowl in downtown Bangkapi.

Photos by Terence Yaw, MTBC.

Convincing win for Korean and Thai youths

27th April, Bangkok: Korean boys gave a superb performance with a convincing win to take the top 3 positions of the Youth Open Masters finals of the 32nd Thailand International Open Bowling Championship while Thai youths finished 1-2-3 in the Youth Graded division.

32nd Thailand Open logo

At the start of the Youth Open finals, Kim Jae-Min of Bowling Camp, Korea set a cracking pace to grab the lead after the first 3-game series but soon found himself trailing his teammate, Park Jong-Woo by 51 pins at the halfway mark.

A 258 and 290 in the sixth and seventh game catapulted Kim to regain the lead by 30 pins from second-placed youth, Won Jong-Yoon of Uiwang Bowling Team, Korea with Park a close third. Despite a 182 in his final game, Kim had posted 223 and 248 in his eighth and ninth game which was enough for the youngster to secure the victory with 2276.

Won settled for second with 2236, 40 pins adrift and Park third with 2197. The champion, since emerging into the Asian scene, had won many titles including the Milo Junior All Stars Youth Boys Graded title last year.

Kim Jae-Min
Kim Jae-Min winning the Youth Open title

In the Youth A division, Panupong Pokchainun took his maiden win after the 18-year-old Watrayabopit School student posted 1972 in the 10-game finals. Panupong, who is trained by Kunaksorn T finished 102 pins ahead of Panuruj Vilailak in second on 1870.

Thananan Kamolratmongkol finished third with 1868 to give the Thais a 1-2-3 finish. Top qualifier, Rizky Mediantoro of Indonesia missed out the podium with a fourth place finish, just 5 pins adrift.

The Ladies' and Men's Graded A finalists will contest their Masters in the afternoon while the Open division will take on to the lanes at 5.00pm (local time) for their first block of 8 games and the second block on 28th April.

Youth A Winners
Youth A winners, Panuruj V, Panupong P and Thananan K

Photos by Terence Yaw, MTBC.

Two perfect games from two Koreans

26th April, Bangkok: Two perfect games from two Koreans, Kang Hyun-Jin and Kim Dae-Deok dictated the final day of the qualifying round of the 32nd Thailand International Open Bowling Championship at B.S.C. Bowl, RCA Plaza.

32nd Thailand Open logo

Kang Hyun-Jin, who won the Singles and Masters Gold medal in the Guam World Youth in 2004, came through with fying colors after six earlier attempts to score the tournament's first perfect game. Kang had lines of 226, 215, 237 and 300 to surge to the top of the leaderboard with a 4-game total of 975.

"I didn't bowl well in my earlier attempts as I didn't feel too good after arriving Bangkok," said the 23-year-old Ulsan Bowling Team staff through an interpreter. "I feel much stronger today and I'm happy to make the finals. The perfect game is a pleasant surprise.

Overnight leader and Malaysian Open second runner-up, Kim Eun-Jung of Korea, dropped one rung to second with 942 followed by Chinese Taipei's Tsai Hsin-Yin third with 925. Saruta Songserm of Thailand maintained her lead in the local pool with 893.

Kang Hyun-Jin
Kang Hyun-Jin scoring the first perfect game

Singapore's Broncson Tan Eng Leng continued to top the Men's Open Masters overall table with a 1018 posted two days ago. Korea's Won Jong-Yoon stormed into second spot with 1009 to become the fourth bowler to surpass the 1000-mark.

Filipino, Markwin Tee settled for third in the table with 1007 with Naif Oqab of UAE and Malaysian Open first runner-up, Zaid Izlan making up the top 5 with 996 and 988 respectively.

Two-time Malaysian Open champion, Kritchawat Jampakao of Thailand maintained his lead in the polcal pool with 1010 with Surasak Manuawong and Asian Schools triple Gold medalist, Somjed Kusonpithak second and third positions on 945 and 943.

Broncson Tang
Broncson Tan maintaining the lead in the men's division

Meanwhile, the second perfect game was scored by Kim Dae-Deok of Korea, during his doubles event in the Men's Graded A division. Qualifying will end late this evening and the top 39 men and top 23 together with defending champions in both the division will contest the Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games on 27th and 28th April.

The top 16 Asian men and women will make the cut for the ABF Tour Thailand leg which will be hed over one day at S.F. Strike Bowl, Ngamwongsewan in downtown Nonthaburi. The leg will be telecast LIVE on Channel UBC.

Photos by Terence Yaw, MTBC.

Spinners dominate Masters qualifying

25th April, Bangkok: Spinners dominated the Open Masters qualifying of the 32nd Thailand International Open Bowling Championship underway at B.S.C. Bowl, RCA Center as Chinese Taipei's Tsai Hsin-Yi and Thailand's Kritchawat Jampakao topped the leaderboard.

32nd Thailand Open logo

Asian Championship Gold medalist, Tsai posted an impressive 925 to lead both the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying table with ex-national and 2005 ABF Tour Indonesia leg champion, Lai Kin Ngoh of Malaysia, in second with 902.

The only other lady hitting pass the 900-mark was Manila SEA Games Masters Silver medalist, Jazreel Tan of Singapore with a score of 900. The 16-year-old chalked up lines of 254, 247, 186 and 213 to take up third spot in the table.

On the local front, Thai national rookie, Saruta Songserm was equally impressive when the 25-year-old posted 893 to lead the local pool. Saruta, who works for an export garmet company in Bangkok, was only recruited into Thailand's national team this year and hopes to do well here for a chance to be picked for the Asian Championship this year.

Tsai Hsin-Yi
Tsai Hsin-Yi topping the Ladies' Open Masters qualifying table

Meanwhile, two time Malaysian Open champion, Krichawat Jampakao of Thailand topped the local pool of the Men's Open Masters qualifying table with a total of 1010. Surasak Manuwong and Asian Schools tripe Gold medalist, Somjed Kusonpithak occupied second and third position with 945 and 943.

Two overseas bowlers, Broncson Tan Eng Leng of Singapore and Filipino, Markwin Tee occupied the top two positions in the overseas pool with 1018 and 1007 respectively. UAE's Naif Oqab did well to finish third with 996, just 11 pins adrift.

Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong and UAE's Shaker Al-Hassan made up the top 5 in fourth and fifth spots with 975 and 971. Malaysia's best performers were Manila SEA Games God medalist, Ben Heng and ABF Tour TOC champion,

Kritchawat J
Kritchawat Jampakao finding his old magic to take the lead

Daniel Lim sharing sixth positions with Korea's Kong Byoung-Hee and UAE's Jamal Al-Ali on 945.

Qualifying continues until tomorrow (26th April) and the top 39 men qualifiers together with defending champion, Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand will contest the Masters finals over two blocks of 8 games on 27th and 28th April.

Photos by Terence Yaw, MTBC.

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