12th April, Bangkok: Hong Kong national bowlers ruled the final squad of first block qualifying rounds at ther 45th MWA-Singha Thailand International Open with James Lui topping the Men's Open division and Chan Shuk Han taking the Women's Open.
Men's Grade A Masters first runner-up, Mahadzir Mohd Ali got off to a good start with 226 in his opening game to lead 2018 Palembang Asian Games Team silver medallist, Tong Wong of Hong Kong by three pins.
2017 Philippine Open Masters champion, Kenneth Chua of Philippines and newly-crowned 2019 H.H. Emir Cup champion, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong keeping pace in third and fourth. 2018 East Asian Championships Masters gold medallist, James Lui added a superb 245 in the second game to his 203 opening game to take over the running.
Wong returned a respectable 223 to remain in second as Amhadzir suffered a lowly 185 to slip out of contention. A third Hong Kong national, Jimmy Cheung moved up into third spot followed by Afizal Azizan of Malaysia in fourth.
Another superb game of 239 in the third game allow Lui to extend his lead from two to 16 pins. Chueng added 228 to take over second as Wong slipped down to third. Cheung posted a splendid 246 in the fourth game to move ahead of Wong as Lui managed only 181 to slip to third.
But Lui bounced back brilliantly with 247 in the final game to seal top spot with 1115. Wong settled for second with 1109 while Cheung stumbled to a 181 final game to drop to third with 1098. A fourth Hong Kong national, Ernest Kwok stormed home to clinch fourth spot with 1044. Syaffique Ikhwan of Malaysia also finished strongly to round out the top five with 1041.
In the Women's Open division, the battle for the lead was largely between Hong Kong's Milki Ng and Thailand's Pitchapa Reongsiri having exchanged lead in the first two games. But Ng prevailed to lead after the third game as the Thai faded off.
Ng managed 186 and 191 in her last two games but could not hold on to the lead. 2017 World Championships bronze medallist and compatriot, Chan Shuk Han stormed home with 237 in the final game to snatch top spot with 985. Ng settled for second with 971.
Pitchapa recovered to claim third spot with 846 followed by her compatriot, Wasana Sakulrat and Hong Kong's Gigi Leung completing the top five with 890 and 838 respectively.
Squad A leader, Tun Hakim of Malaysia remained in the leader in the overseas pool with 1174 followed by two additional Malaysians, Ahmad Muaz and Muhd Nur Aiman in second and third with 1137 and 1134. Surasak Manuwong and Yannaphon Larpapharat also remained in first and second with 1124 and 1031.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Bangkok, Thailand.
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