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ABF Tour - Thailand 2009 | Photo Album |

Second victory for UAE, first for Thai

20th April, Bangkok: Reigning Asian Ranked No. 1, Hussain Al-Suwaidi of UAE bagged his second tour title of the year after he denied Thailand a double victory by defeating Surasak Manuwong in the men's finals while Benchawan Poungthong clinched her first tour title.

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Hussain Al-Suwaidi, who finished first runnerup in the preceeding Thailand Open yesterday, made amends when he bagged his second tour title with an easy victory over challenger, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, 172-142 in the men's title match.

Surasak got off to a disasterous start missing a pin 10 in his opening frame and a bad split in the fourth. Another two misses in the sixth and seventh frames put off the pressure of his opponent, Hussain.

Hussain went on to take the victory with 172 against a low score of 142 from Surasak thus denying Thailand a double victory.

Hussain Al-Suwaidi
Hussain Al-Suwaidi winning his second tour title this year

"It wasn't easy in the match against the in-form Surasak but when he had the opened frames, I was much more relaxed and made sure I don't make the same mistakes," said the delighted Hussain. "I've trained hard and I made a promise to myself that I want to do well this year.

"This victory will certainly give me a boost to my confidence when I compete in the World Ranking Masters in Naples later this month."

The champion had to beat another Thai, Kritchawat Jamparkao, 178-171 in the first semi-final while Surasak edged newly-crowned Thailand Open champion and topseed, Yannaphon Larpapharat, 197-180 in the other all-Thai semi.

Hussain also edged Thailand's Pasut Punsanthaveekul, 201-199 and Hong Kong's Rickle Kam, 203-189 in the first two rounds while Surasak narrowly defeated Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi, 172-166 and compatriot, Norapat Saksritavee, 185-180 in his first two rounds.

Meanwhile, Benchawan Poungthong gave Thailand a lot of cheers as she narrowly defeated newly-crowned Thailand Open champion, Tang Joh Six of Malaysia, 189-186 in the women's title match. Despite bowling on TV lanes during the finals, the 21-year-old Thai national rookie showed calmness throughout the match.

Tang had a slight margin at the halfway mark after Benchawan had an opened frame in the fourth. But the Malaysian missed a crucial single pin in frame nine allowing the Thai to close the gap to just 5 pins.

Tang ended the match with 186 forcing Benchawan needing a double strike to seal the match. The Thai delighted her supporters when she oblidged with a double in the 10th and 11th frames to finish the match with 189 and winning the title.

Banchawan Poungthong
Benchawan Poungthong winning her first tour title

"This is the happiest day of my life so far," said the champion, Benchawan, whose best effort was finishing third in last year's Youth Challenge here in Bangokok. "I've to thank my coach, Terdporn Manopiboon, who switched me from a straight ball player to spinning."

Benchawan reached the finals after edging Hong Kong's Katharine Lau, 183-181 in the first semi-final. The champion had ousted Korea's Park Jin Hee, 188-166 and then went on to edge her more experience compatriot, Gunnalada Aree, 189-186 in Round 2.

Tang, who also won this year's ABF Tour Tournament of Champions women's title in Jakarta, had cruised through Round 1 and 2 and India's Sabeena Saleem, 177-149 to reach the finals.

The ABF Tour Thailand leg was broadcast LIVE over True Vision and the highlights will be telecast over the seven countries where the tour will be held this year. The next stop will be the Saudi leg which will be held on May 9.

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

Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok.

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Round 1 & 2 Matches
Semi & Finals Matches
  - Men's Semi 1
  - Men's Semi 2
  - Women's Semi 1
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  - Men's Final
  - Women's Final
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