44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open
Malaysian, Taiwanese wins Round 2
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14th April, Bangkok: Christopher Tiong of Malaysia and Chou Chia-Chen of Chinese Taipei narrowly won the Men's and Ladies' Open Round 2 Masters finals of the 44th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open at Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Paragon on Saturday.

Singapore's Jonovan Neo got off to a cracking start with a stunning 279 to lead Tiong by 14 pins as the latter also rolled a big game of 265. His fellow Sarawakian, Abang Afiq Yazid followed in third, 10 pins adrift.

Tiong added 229 in the second game to take over the running as Abang stayed close to the leader, 5 pins away in second. Neo suffered a lowly 165 to slip away as 2017 Asian School Masters gold medallist, Tun Hakim of Malaysia fired a big game of 278 to take up third spot.

Abang rolled a strong third game of 235 to leapfrog into the lead followed by Tun Hakim moving up to second. Tiong slipped down to third despite posting 216.

Round 2 winners, Christopher Tiong and Chou Chia-Chen

Neo bounced back with 259 and 246 to regain the lead after the fourth game. Tiong also recovered to move up to second while Abang dropped to third. Both the Malaysians fired identical 269 in the fifth game to overtake the Singaporean with just 11 pins seperating the duo.

Tiong ended with 221 to clinch the win with 1426. Abang rolled 223 to finish second with 1417, 9 pins adrift. Two-time PBA Bowler of the Year and newly-crowned Senior Masters champion, Mika Koivuniemi of Finland posted a sizzling game of 277 to snatch third spot with 1409.

Lau Kwun Ho of Hong Kong made the cut for Round 3 finals in 14th position with 1284. Muhd Jaris Goh of Singapore missed the cut by 2 pins in 15th position. The top 14 advanced to Round 3 finals for another six games, joined by the six seeded qualifiers.

Meanwhile in the Ladies' Open division, 2017 South-East Asian Games Masters and 2017 World Championships Team gold medallist, Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia set a blistering pace with 242 in her opening game to lead Chinese Taipei's Wang Ya-Ting by 6 pins.

But two back-to-back poor games saw the Malaysian dropping out of contention. Indonesia's Aldila Indryati surged into the lead with 222 and 231 as Wang continued to trail in second.

Round 2 Top 3, Abang Afiq Yazid, Christopher Tion and Mika Koivuniemi

A second Taiwanese, Chou Chia-Chen amassed 674 from her first 3-game series to take over the running. Wang and Aldila kept pace with Chou in second and third.

Chou ended with 213, 257 and 236 to win the round with 1380. Aldila settled for second with 1348 while her team-mate, Tannya Roumimper stormed home with 214, 204 and 258 to snatch third spot with 1315.

Singapore's New Hui Fen made the cut for Round 3 finals in 10th position with 1234. Korea's debutant, Lee Sim Gyeol missed the cut by 38 pin to finish 11th position. The top 10 advanced to Round 3 finals for another six games, joined by the six seeded qualifiers.

The top 6 men and top 6 women at the end of Round 3 finals will proceed to the Stepladder shootout finals, scheduled to be held at 6.00pm local time.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

Ladies' Open Top 3 Round 2, Aldila Indryati, Chou Chia-Chen and Tannya Roumimper

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