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ABF Tour - Hong Kong 2004
Winner catches last train to Tournament of Champions

27th November, Hong Kong: Qatar's Mubarak Al-Murikhi caught the last train to the ABF Tour - Tournament of Champions with a superb win in the ABF Tour Hong Kong leg at Mei Foo Super Fun Bowl this evening.

Mubarak, who was 30th in the Tour rankings, earned 75 points to make the grand finals while veteran, Jenny Ho took the home ground advantage to capture the women's title.

ABF Tour - Hong Kong logo

The 27-year-old from Doha, Qatar crushed challenger and Philippines Open champion, Ernesto (Joonee) Gathalian of the Philippines, 245-173 to win the men's title in style. The champion stepped up into top gear from frame 2 onwards and strung together six strikes-in-a-row to take a commanding lead while two open frames from Gatachlian in the third and 7th frames ended his hope of mounting any comeback.

Mubarak's win was by no means easy when he stopped Malaysia's Mohd Nadri in the first of the men's semifinals with a 248-231 earlier. Malaysia's last hope was also dashed when Aaron Kong lost to Gatchalian in the 9th and 10th frames roll-off, 38-60 after both tied at 213.

High games saw Mubarak crusing into the semifinals after he ousted ABF Tour Malaysia leg champion, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia, 254-200 an

Mubarak Al-Murikhi
Mubarak catching the last train to Tournament of Champions

edged newly-crowned, Hong Kong Open champion, Biboy Rivera of the Philippines, 255-245 in Rounds 1 and 2 earlier.

The large crowd of supporters went home contented when they saw a local, Jenny Ho claiming the women's crown when the country's top challengers, Wu Siu Hong and Vanessa Fung made early exits. The 48-year-old veteran out-classed her challenger and ex-international, Tang Joh Six of Malaysia, 255-184 as consolation for the host nation.

The champion had defeated Singapore and Indonesia Open champion, Liza Del Rosario of the Philippines, 198-162 in the second women's semifinal match while the runner-up knocked out compatriot, Wendy Chai 248-213 in the other match to reach the finals.

Making her first appearance in the Tour, Ho won both her Round 1 and 2 matches beating fellow-countrywoman, Melody Yeung and Guam Open

Jenny Ho
Veteran, Jenny Ho capturing the women's crown

champion, Evelyn Chan of Singapore to reach the semifinals. Despite the win and 75 points, Ho did not accumulate enough points to make the grand finals.

Sitiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand and ABF Tour Malaysia leg runner-up, Sultan Al-Marzouqi lost their grand finals places after Mubarak Al-Murikhi and Joonee Gatchalian earned valuable points to make the cut for the grand finals in Jakarta in January. In the women's division, Chinese Taipei's Huang Chiung-Yao and Malaysia's Low Poh Lian got pushed out when Tang Joh Six and Vanessa Fung squeezed in with points earned here at the final leg.

The ABF Tour comprises six Legs and a Grand Final, the Tournament of Champions. Each Leg was staged over two competition days where the top 16 men and 16 women bowlers from the preceding International Open Masters Event (Open Grade) competed in a one-game match play knock-out competition for the individual men's and women's titles.

The Tournament of Champions will be staged over four competition days where the top 16 men and 16 women bowlers (based on ABF Tour ranking points), plus two additional wildcard entries from the West Asia region (thus totalling 18 men in the men's division), will qualify to compete over four rounds of competition for the coveted men's and women's ABF Tour Champion titles.

The ABF Tour - Hong Kong was televised LIVE on Malaysia's Astro Supersport and Singapore's Starhub and will also be televised later on local television stations of the six countries where the tour is being held. It is also broadcast later from parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, China and Australasia with an estimated audience of around 90 million.

For further information and details please contact ABF Tour Committee Marketing and Event Management Division at Tel: (852) 2810 5191; Fax: (852) 28105192; Mr. Ritchie Lai (Mobile: (852) 93598669; email: ritchie.lai@tndgroup.com or Mr. Kelvin Pong (Mobile: (852) 9100 0958; email: Kelvin.pong@tndgroup.com. Visit www.abftour.com for LIVE scores.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Danny Santos.

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