42nd Malaysian International Open Bowling Championships 2024
National podium squad members take maiden victory
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5th May, Petaling Jaya: Malaysian national podium squad members, Muhammad Hafiz Zainuddin and Gillian Lim took their maiden victory in the Men's and Women's Open Masters finals at the concluding 42nd Malaysian International Open 2024 on Sunday afternoon.

Muhammad Hafiz, who finished as first runner-up last year, made good his promise to win it this time round. But he had to work doubly hard after he was forced into a sudden-death decider when he lost the first game, 167-213 to challenger and team-mate, Syafiq Ridhwan in the title match.

Hafiz bounced back brilliantly with a cracking start in the deciding game with four strikes-in-a-row to open up a decent margin over Syafiq. The 24-year-old national bowler went on to win in style by not making the mistakes he made in the first game, 234-192 to take his maiden international title.

The champion picked up the top prize of RM50,000 (approx. US$10,500), coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress. Syafiq had advanced to final with victory over third-seed Wan Muhd Zarif Ikram, 194-180 in the semi-final match.

Top 3 winners of the Men's Open Masters, Syafiq Ridhwan, Muhammad Hafiz and Wan Muhd Zarif

Syafiq settled for RM25,000 while Wan Muhd Zarif earned RM13,000 as first and second runners-up. Hafiz topped the earlier Round 2 finals with 1874 followed by Syafiq in second with 1764. Wan Muhd Zarif clinched third spot with 1760. Darren Ong of SBF, Singapore missed the cut by 13 pins for finishing fourth with 1747 and defending champion, Rafiq Ismail managed fifth position with 1743.

Meanhile Gillian Lim also had to work hard for her victory. She won the first game, 219-199 over topseed and defending champion, Lavina Kho Jia Jie of ABAS, Sarawak in the all-Sarawakian title match to force a sudden-death game. The 25-year-old Lim fully took the advantage as Kho found the lanes extremely tricky.

Lim cruised to a convincing win, 235-196 in the second game to capture her biggest career title since taking up bowling at the tender age of 9. The champion had earned the right to challenge for the title after dispatching 2023 World Championships Singles gold medalist and team-mate, Natasha Roslan 257-198 in the semi-finals.

Lim won RM30,000 as champion leaving Kho and Natasha with RM20,000 and RM10,000 as first and second runners-up. Kho topped the earlier Round 2 finals with 1785. Natasha and Lim finished second and third with 1698 and 1695 respectively yo make the stepladder finals.

Sin Li Jane, bound for the American PWBA Tour on Monday, missed the cut by 13 pins in fourth position with 1684. Round 1 winner and national podium squad member, Nur Syazwani Sahar managed only to finish in seventh position with 1650.

Women's Open Masters winenrs, Natasha Roslan, Gillian Lim and Lavina Kho

A total of 447 local bowlers and 267 overseas bowlers took part at this year's championships. Of this number, there were 39 local and 82 overseas Men's Open, 24 local and 34 overseas Women. Dato Mohamad Najeeb Abdullah, Deputy President of MTBC was on hand to present the trophies and prizes to the winners. All participants, coaches and officials will attend a victory banquet at Sunway Resorts Hotel with guest of honour, YB Hannah Yeoh, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Malaysia.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

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Impressive showing from Malaysian national women
Malaysian national takes over top spot
Aussie takes pole position
Sarawakians sweep Youth Open titles
National bowler hoping to end title drought
National bowlers eyeing open crown
Perlis, Sarawak youth captures Graded titles

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