15th January, Hong Kong: Korea aims to break a 17-year drought for the Men's Team of 5 title after snatching the first block lead of the 26th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships at SCAA Bowling Centre on Sunday.
UAE's Hussain Alsuwaidi, Obaid Alsaadi, Sultan Alqubaisi, Mahmood Alattar and Naif Oqab got off the block with a stunning 1284 in their opening game to lead Malaysia's Trios gold medallist of Muhd Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan and Ahmad Muaz together with Syafiq RIdhwan and Tun Hakim by 51 pins.
Saudi's Abdulrahman Alkheliwi, Yousef Salem Aljarad, Ahmed A Abualreesh, Bandar T Alyabah and Sultan F Almasri were the third team to score over 1200 to take up third spot. But the Emiratis returned only a moderate 1169 to slip behind Korea and Malaysia.
Kim Donghyeon, Kil Junseong, Lee Ikkyu, Park Geonha and Ji Geun fired a sizzling 1292 to add to their 1198 opener to take over the running. Malaysia moved into second with 1231, 11 pins ahead of UAE. Saudi Arabia dropped down to fourth after a 1186 second game.
Korea ended the first block with 1251 to seal top spot with 3741. UAE bounced back with superb 1269 to regain second spot with 3722, just 19 pins adrift while Malaysia settled for third with 3607 after a lack-luster 1143. The last time Korea won the Men's Team of 5 was back in 2015 in Thailand.
Saudi Arabia fell further behind to 111 pins in fourth with 3496. Thailand rounded up the top 5 with 3483. The men will resume with their second block tomorrow in the morning while the women will take to the lanes in the afternoon. The top 16 men and top 16 women in the All Events standings will advance to the Round-Robin Masters Finals over two blocks on January 17 and 18.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.
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