25th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships
Malaysia adds two gold medals
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26th October, Kuwait: Malaysia added two more gold medals at the 25th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships with victory in both the Men's and Women's Trios event with the men picking up an additional bronze on Saturday.

Rafiq Ismail, Syafiq Ridhwan and Ahmad Muaz, who topped the first block yesterday with 2122, extended their lead over Korea's Park Geonha, Lee Ikkyu and Kim Kyungmin from 31 to 109 pins with 700 in their fourth game.

The Malaysian trio was on a roll adding another another superb fifth game of 702. But they only managed 676 ending the block with 4290. Korea finished second, 72 pins behind the leader with Japan's Tomoyuki Sasaki, Takuya Miyazawa and Shusaku Asato taking up third position with 4104.

Khaled AlDubyyan, Jasem Alsaqer and Mostafa Almousawi of Kuwait, who topped Squad 1 yesterday but finished fourth overall, had a sizzling start in their fourth game with 773 and had amassed 2936, averaging 242.78, higher than the Squad 2 leader, Malaysia, who had completed their six games on an average of 238.33.

Malaysian men and women adding two more gold medals

The Kuwaiti trio looked set to overhaul the Malaysians after added another superb game of 699 in the fifth. All they needed was 655 or more in their sixth and final game to beat the Malaysian trio and to clinch their first gold in the championships.

With a huge Kuwaiti crowd that had packed the Kuwait Bowling Sporting Club supporting their team, pressure was mounting nearing to the end and it came down to the final frame. All it need was any one of the three to finish with one strike.

Aldubyyan was unlucky to leave pin 10 after a seemingly perfect shot and then failed to make the spare finishing with 232. Alsaqer had a chance to strike but left two pins standing, which he subsequently made the spare to end with 224.

Had anchorman, Almousawi struck in his final frame, Kuwait would have ended with 2491 to clinch the gold by a single pin but knocked down only 9 pins. Converting the spare meant the Kuwaiti finished with 189 to settle for the silver medal, 10 pins short.

The other Malaysian trio of Hafiz Zainuddin, Timmy Tan and Tun Hakim downed 2109 in their second block to snatch the bronze medal with 4246. Korea's Choi Bokeum, Kim Junyung and Kang Heewon missed the podium by 24 pins in fourth.

Mostafa Almousawi, Jasem Alsaqer and Khaled Aldubyyan winning the Men's Trios silver medal

Meanhwile in the women's division, overnight leader of Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane and Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia led from start to finish in the second block unchallenged. The trio reeled in 761, 734 and 719 to add the second gold medal with 4354.

Korea's Kang Sujin, Lee Yeonji and Baek Seungja had a slow start with 688 in their fourth game but fought on galantly with 764 and 756 in the fifth and sixth games to finish second overall with 4311 for the silver medal.

The second Korean trio of Lee Nayoung, Kim Moonjeong and Jung Dawun, who topped Squad 2 earlier in the day with 4297, took home the bronze medal. The other Malaysian trio of Nur Syazwani Sahar, Syaidatul Afifah and Siti Safiyah Amirah, who finished second with 4077 in the same squad, missed the podium by a distant 220 pins.

Singles gold and Trios bronze medallist, Timmy Tan of Malaysia shared the lead in the All Events standings with Korea's Kang Heewon on 4388 after three events contested so far. Doubles gold medallist, Du Jianchao of China occupied third spot with 4332.

Doubles gold medallist, Lee Nayoung of Korea led the Women's All Events standings with 4378 followed by Singles and Trios gold medallist, Shalin Zulkifli in second with 4321 while a second Korean, Jung Dawun took up third with 4290.

Baek Seungja, Lee Yeonji and Kang Sujin settling for the Women's Trios silver medal

Competition will shift to the 5-Player Team event over two blocks of three games. The women will contest their Team event in the morning while the men will take to the lanes in the afternoon. The second block will be held on October 28.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

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