20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships
Singapore, Macau leads opening Singles squad
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20th April, Kuching: Brandon Ong of Singapore and Cheang Lok In of Macau led the opening squad of the Boy's and Girl's Singles event at the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships underway at Megalanes Sarawak on Saturday.

Korean debutant, Moon Hayeong got off the block brilliantly with 235 in his opening game to lead local favourite and 18th Asian School Championships Team silver medallist, Muhammad Hafiz of Malaysia by two pins.

Ong, who picked up the Doubles bronze medal at last year's Asian School Championship in Taichung, Chinese Taipei, added a sizzling 279 to his first game of 225 to take over the lead. 17th Asian School Championships Singles gold medallist, Kenzo Umali rolled a big game of 253 to take over second spot.

Hafiz kept himself in the running and close to the leading duo with 236 in the second game for third position while the Korea managed only 191 to slip out of contention. Ong shot 228 and 199 in his next two games and stayed in the lead.

Singles Squad 1 leader, Brandon Ong and Cheang Lok In

Umali continued to trail the Singaporean from a 38-pin lead down to 26 after the fourth game. Ong held on to the lead despite a poor 166 in the fifth game but recovered with 221 in the sixth and final game to claim top spot with 1318.

A second Malaysian youth, Muhammad Syarizol stormed home with 235 and 247 in the last two games to snatch second position with 1282 while Moon bounced back to end the squad in third position with 1272. Umali and a second Korean, Won Jonghyeok completed the top 5 with 1261 and 1255 respectively.

In the girl's division, 2018 Asian Intercity Championships Singles silver medallist, Cheang Lok In of Macau surprised a strong field, including 2016 World Youth Masters silver medallist, Amabel Chua of Singapore, to lead the squad with 1263.

Cheang led from start to finish where the 15-year-old rolled a stunning 260 in her opening game and never looked back since. Chua trailed the Macau youth for the first three games before her compatriot. Charmaine Chang took over second after the fourth game.

Boy's Squad 1 top 3, Muhammad Syarizol, Brandon Ong and Moon Hayeong

Two Korean debutants, Kim Hyeonji and Jeong Yeri put pressure on Cheang with big games in the fifth and sixth games but she prevailed with to end with 224 to clinch the lead. Kim and Jeong settled for second and third positions with 1260 and 1209 respectively.

Chua managed to finish fourth with 1185 while host Malaysia's best performer was Nurul Ayunni after completing the top 5 with 1178. Players assigned to Squad 2 of the Singles event will take to the lanes for their preliminaries.

The top three boys and top 3 girls with the highest pinfalls from the combined two squads will be awarded the gold, silver and bronze medals in the medal ceremony immediately after the end of the second squad.

Competition will shift to the Doubles event, again divided into two squads to be contested tomorrow. The Team of Four event over two blocks of three games each, will be staged on April 22 and 23.

Girl's Squad 1 top 3, Kim Hyeongji, Cheang Lok In and Jeong Yeri

The top 16 boys and top 16 girls with the highest pinfalls based on a total of 18 games from the Singles, Doubles and Team of Four event will advance to the Round-Robin Masters Finals scheduled for April 24 and 25 to decide the top 3 boys and top 3 girls with the highest pinfalls proceeding to the Stepladder Shootout finals.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuching, Sarawak.

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