26th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships
First gold for Malaysia, third for Singapore
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13th January, Hong Kong: Muhd Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan and Ahmad Muaz finally won Malaysia's first gold medal in the Men's Trios event of the 26th Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships while Singapore women picked up their third gold medal.

The second Malaysian trio continued where they left off in the first block on a 137 pins margin with 766 in their fourth game of the seccond block and followed it up with a sizzling 801 to stretch their lead to a commanding 238 pins.

Singapore's Muhd Jaris Goh, Timothy Tham and Cheah Ray Han just could not keep pace with the leader despite starting off well with 765 but managed a moderate 701 in the fifth game. Malaysia's other trio of Syafiq Ridhwan, Syazirol Shamsudin and Tun Hakim was right on their heels.

Malaysia ended with another strong game of 778 to seal the win with 4677. Singapore only neeedd anything better than 650 to take the silver but disaster struck the unlucky trio when they suffered a lowly 635 to miss the podium with 4296.

Men's Trios gold medallist, Timmy Tan, Ahmad Muaz and Muhd Rafiq Ismail

Ridhwan, Shamsudin and Hakim kept their cool to end with 684 and pipped Singapore by one pin for the bronze on 4297. Squad 1 leader, Park Donghyuk, Park Geonha and Ji Geun of Korea clinched the silver medal with 4341.

The other Singapore trio of Basil Dill Ng, Mike Ong and Darren Ong, who was second overall in the first block, could not repeat the form they showed yesterday to end the second block in sixth overall. Tony Wong, Wu Siu Hong and Michael Mak of host nation, Hong Kong completed the top five with 4245.

Overnight leader, Shayna Ng, New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan of Singapore lost the lead briefly at the start of the second block to the Korean trio of Baek Seungja, Kim Hyun Mi and Jung Dawun despite a decent 710 opener.

Korea downed 734 to take over the running, albeit just 13 pins ahead. The second Malaysian trio of Gillian Lim, Puteri Nurul Dini and Nora Lyana Nastasia rolled 734 to stay with the leading duo. The Singapore trio was simply better than the rest when they ended the second block with 774 and 775 to seal their third gold medal with 4463.

Malaysia edged Korea by 37 pins to snatch the silver medal with 4255 while Baek, Kim and Jung settled for the bronze medal with 4218. Chinese Taipei's Su Shu Wen, Pan Yu Fen and Wang Ya Ting, who were third overnight, did poorly to drop down to sixth overall with 4121. The other Korean trio of Yang Sujin, Kim Jinju and Hwang Yeonju missed the podium by 38 pins finishing in fourth position.

The Malaysian men continued to dominate the All Events standings occupying the top four spots. Tan, Ismail, Hakim and Muaz totaled 4608, 4606, 4517 and 4493 respectively.

Shyna Ng, New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan with their Trios gold medals

Tan and New of Singapore occupied the top two spots of the women's standings with 4535 and 4303. Baek took up third, 34 pins adrift while Ng is fourth, just 9 pins further away. Competition will shift to the Team of 5 event to be contested over two blocks of 3 games.

The women will bowl tomorrow at 0900 hrs local time. The men will have a rest day and will resume with their first block of 3 games on Sunday, January 15. Both the women and men will complete their second block on Monday, January 16.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

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