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Sheikh Talal M. Al-Sabah elected new President of ABF

2nd July, Bangkok: Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah of Kuwait was elected the new ABF President for a four year term at the Asian Bowling Federation General Assembly preceeding the 18th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championship at Town in Town Hotel this morning.

A total of 28 member federations were represented, plus the two proxies of Kazakstan and Brunei, giving the complete voting power of 30. Three nominations were received for election to the office of ABF President: Mrs. Vivien Fung, J.P., the incumbent President from Hong Kong; Mr. Gordon Chu, Guam and Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

"We come to this General Assembly to discuss the betterment of our sport in Asia," added Mrs. Fung. "Because of having three candidates there was conflict as to whether there should be one or two rounds of voting. One round is traditional in the ABF, even when there have been more than two candidates."

Sheikh Talal
Newly-elected ABF President, Sheikh Talal of Kuwait

Serving the ABF for the next four years will be Sheikh Talal M. Al-Sabah of Kuwait, winning by the positive margin of 21 votes to nine for Mr. Chu.

Sheikh Talal has 24 years experience in bowling, both as a player and an official. He was not surprised at the large total of votes. "I knew that I had the support of about 18 or 19 countries and I think that all the votes that might have gone to Vivien have come to me," he said after his victory. "I'm delighted and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me. Now I need to work with the Vice-Presidents and Executive Committee members to take bowling in Asia to an even higher level."

One consolation for Mrs. Fung is that the assembly voted her Honorary Life President of the ABF to recognize her outstanding work over the past eight years and beyond.

"It is sad that we have to fight so much in the General Assembly," said Mrs. Fung, after withdrawing from the election. "I feel that for the unity of the sport I had to step down, so that we don't have to fight so much.

"I'm sure that Sheikh Talal, who is a member of the Olympic Council of Asia, knows how important bowling is to us and I hope that he will be able to get bowling into the Olympics much faster than we anticipated."

Vivien Fung
Mrs Vivien Fung, bestowed Hon. Life Preseident of ABF

Voting for Vice-Presidents saw Mr. Li Gao Chao of China elected to the Far East Region over Mr. Chen Tong Hui of Chinese Taipei. Mr. Alexander Popov of Australia (Oceanic Region) and Mr. Sidney Tung of Malaysia (South East Region) were returned without competition. The two candidates for the Western Region, Mohammed A. Alkhaja of the United Arab Emirates and H.E. Salman Abdulla Abdul Ghani of Qatar faced further voting and the successful candidate was Abdul Ghani after a first round tie.

Six candidates were nominated for the five positions in the Executive Committee resulted in the election of Mr. Farouk Haridi (Egypt); Mr. Maxi Gunawan (Indonesia); Mr. Fong Wun Man (Macau); Mr. Takaya Aizawa (Japan) and Mr. Jaffar Ebrahim Alghassab (Bahrain). Mr. Alex Lim of the Philippines was not re-elected. Mr. Danny Santos was returned as Honorary Auditor.

The afternoon session opened fixing the dates of the 9th Asian School Championships, 2005 to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, settled on April of that year. For 2006, the school holidays vary from area to area so the decision was made to hold two Championships, one in the East, the other in the West. Thailand offered to stage one of the events, the other has yet to be decided. The 2007 Asian School Championships will be staged in Vietnam.

The 14th Asian Youth Championships in 2007 will be staged in Beijing, China and the 20th Asian Championships go to Hong Kong in 2008, which will also host the ABF General Assembly. A suggestion that the date of the 13th Asian Youth Championships in Guam be changed from June 21-30 to the early part of July has to be ratified.

Although still seeking major sponsorship, the highly successful ABF Tour will continue its schedule through Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Subject to sponsorship, the tour stops could be increased to additional countries in 2005. Mrs. Fung reported the success of the ABF Coaching Clinic, stating that the manuals for Levels I & II are now available.

Story and photo by Keith Hale, ABF Media Co-ordinator.

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