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ABF Tour - Indonesia 2008 | Photo Album |

Champions make grand finals with victory

16th November, Jakarta: Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand and debutant, Park Jin-Hee of Korea, made the ABF Tour Tournament of Champions with victories in the men's and women's divisions of the ABF Tour Indonesia leg at Ancol Bowl on Sunday evening.

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Ranked 55 in the rankings going into the final leg of this year's tour, Sithiphol Kunaksorn brought home five consecutive strikes in the last three frames to end the match with 230 forcing his opponent, Wu Siu Hong needing to strike out.

The unlucky Chinese Taipei Open champion made a seemingly perfect pocket shot only to see the stubborn pin 10 standing motionless to end his effort on a 229. The Thai nearly lost the match after starting off strongly with four strikes in a row but encountered two bad splits in the fifth and seventh frames.

The mishap left Sithiphol trailing Wu by 20 pins after going in front in the first four frames. Wu downed four consecutive strikes to move ahead in

Men's Champion
Thumbs up for Sithiphol Kunaksorn of Thailand

the ninth frame but when Sithiphol struck out, it made the task of overhauling his opponent more difficult.

"I was very comfortable in the beginning but after the two nasty splits, I thought I had lost the match," said the 22-year-old physical education student from Bangkok. "I got my lucky break in the ninth frame when the strike came late."

"My target coming to Jakarta was to make the grand finals but to win it is even more pleasant. I now look forward to my first-ever grand finals in January." The champion advanced into the finals by defeating Filipino, Chester King, 241-215 in the first semi-finals.

Wu reached the finals by beating another Filipino, Biboy Rivera, 200-180 in the other men's semi. Topseed and newly-crowned Ancol Open champion, Adrian Ang of Malaysia crashed out in the first round.

In the women's division, tour debutant Park Jin-Hee of Korea, was handed the women's crown when Zatil Iman of Malaysia missed the last two frames after having built up a 20 pin lead after the eighth frame.

A costly single pin miss in the ninth frame and an unlucky split in her final frame led to her downfall ending with 193 which gave her Korean opponent needing only to mark home. Park struck in the tenth frame and then a 7-spare in the final frame sealed the victory with 195.

"I had not been competing outside of Korea for a long time and I'm very happy to win in my first appearance," said the ex-national, who won two gold medals in the 1999 World Championship.

Women's Champion
Tour debutant and champion, Park Jin-Hee with her trophy

The champion had ended the hopes of Indonesia when she edged Happy Soediyono, 184-180 to reach the finals. Zatil had earlier eliminated another Indonesian, Tanyya Roumimper from Bandung, 258-238 in the first women's semi-finals.

Newly-crowned Ancol Open champion and topseed, Joung Myo-Boub also made an early exit when she lost to Indonesia's Putty Areim, 176-222 in the first round. Park beat Raniia A Nugroho of Indonesia in the Round 1 and Filipina, Krizziah Tabora in the second round.

Sithiphol's victory in this leg earned him 75 points to move up to eighth in the rankings with 90 points while Park's win slotted the Korean into joint eighth with Philippines leg champion, Apple Posadas of the Philippines.

The top 16 men and top 16 women in the tour rankings have made the cut for Tournament of Champions which will be staged at Ancol Bowling Centre in Jakarta from 16 to 18 January, 2009. Pasut Punsanthaveekul of Thailand and Naif Qbab of UAE tie in 15th and Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia in 16th in the men's and women's standings.

For further information and details, please contact ABF Tour Committee at Tel: +852 2893 6039, Fax: +852 2893 6290; Email: hktbc@netvigator.com.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Jakarta.

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