2018 CGSE Million Tinkle World Men Championships
Malaysia wins first-ever Singles gold
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1st December, Hong Kong: Third-seed, Muhd Rafiq Ismail won Malaysia's first-ever individual gold medal at the 2018 CGSE • Million Tinkle World Men Championships with victory over third-seed, Dan MacLelland of Canada, 217-204 in the Singles final.

Ismail had narrowly defeated second-seed, Kyle Troup of Team USA, 171-170 in the semi-final match to advance to the championship match. Defending champion, MacLelland breezed past topseed and another American, Andrew Anderson, 256-170 in the first semi-final match to face the Malaysian in the final.

The Canadian had a cracking start in the final with four strikes-in-a-row to open up a gap of 19 pins as Ismail delivered four perfect pocket shots only for a strike in the first frame followed by two 9-pin spares and a second strike in the fourth frame.

But Ismail struck twice in the fifth and sixth frame putting pressure on the Canadian, who failed to spare a single pin 10 in the fifth frame. Just one seprated the title contenders when MacLelland spared hi sixth frame.

Muhd Rafiq Ismail with the championships' first gold medal

There was still nothing seperating Ismail and MacLelland up to the ninth frame. MacLelland delivered a seemingly perfect shot in the tenth frame but saw a stubborn pin 10 standing firmly. Had the Canadian spared his final frame and a good pin count in his bonus frame, it would have forced Ismail to also mark his final frame for a victory.

But MacLelland again failed to pickup the spare, handling the match to his opponent when Ismail downed 9 pin, which he subsequently spared and finished off with a strike to seal the win. MacLelland, who won the Singles gold at the 2017 World Championships in Las Vegas, settled for the silver.

Both Anderson and Troup took home a bronze medal each. The semi-finals and final were broadcast LIVE by host broadcaster, I-Cable TV and was fed to 16 TV networks in Europe and Asian. The broadcast was also carried LIVE over Flo Sports and Olympic Channel.

The Doubles Semi-finals and Final will also be broadcast LIVE tomorrow commencing at 6.30 pm local time after the 5-Player Team event concludes with their second block of three games.

Singles medallists, MacLelland, Ismail, Anderson and Troup

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong, China.

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