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7th Qatar International Open | Photo Album |
Third time lucky for Englishwomen

21st January, Doha: It was third time lucky for England's Kirsten Penny who edged out Wu Siu Hong from Hong Kong to clinch the champion's title at this year's 7th Qatar International Open Bowling Championship at Qatar International Bowling Centre on Monday afternoon.

7th Qatar Open logo

A magnificent trophy and US$50,000 in prize money was the stunning reward for Penny whose best finish in her previous two entries at this world-renowned event was a top-16 placing. The quarterfinal rounds commenced when the field was cut from 16 to top eight after four games.

Number one seed, Wu ousted Jason Belmonte from Australia, 440-426, while local hero Mubarak Al-Muraikhi secured a semifinal berth with a slim two-pin margin over Sweden's Martin Larsen, 473-471. On the adjoining lanes, the two female quarterfinalists, Shalin Zulkifli and Kirsten Penny, comfortably overcame their opponents Choi Bok Eum from Korea and Malaysia's Adrian Ang to advance to the semis.

Despite spirited performances throughout this tournament, Shalin Zulkifli from Malaysia failed to reach the grand final after losing to Penny, 418-436,

2008 Champion
Kirsten Penny with the fat pay check

and Qatari triple gold-medallist from last year's Pan-Arab Games, Mubarak Al-Muraikhi was also narrowly defeated by an in-form Wu Siu Hong, 421-371.

The grand-final match, televised live by Qatar TV, was a gripping event that came down to the final frames. Overcoming a brief lapse in the second game, Penny maintained her composure to glide past the hapless Wu and secure the title, 479-460.

"I haven't had the best results with matchplay in the past, so I like the two-game format," she told reporters after the win. "It works better for me, especially with the eight pins bonus because it was a mixed event this year. It's a nice start to each game," she added, grinning.

The 8th Qatar International Open will be held from December 4-13, 2008, as the final event for 2008 of the popular European Bowling Tour. Further details of this tournament and the forthcoming H.H. Emir Cup, also hosted by the Qatar Bowling Federation scheduled for March 9-30, will be found on the QBF website.

2008 Top 3 Winners
The top 3 winners, Wu Siu Hong, Kirsten Penny and Shalin Zulkifli

Photos courtesy of Qatar Bowling Federation.

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