2nd June, Hong Kong: The immensely popular Hong Kong International Open Bowling Championships in its 46th edition, has returned after a lapse of three years and will once again be held at SCAA Bowling Centre from June 9 to 17, 2023.
The absence of the championships was primarily due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that had ravaged not only Hong Kong but the whole world. With the blessing and support of the President of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Mr Timothy T.T. Fok, GBS, JP., who has also consented to officiate the Opening Ceremony on Monday, June 12 at 7.00pm at the same venue.
A total of eight countries and regions including Indonesia, Kuwait, Macau China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Chinese Taipei have confirmed their participation and are sending their top-class bowlers to Hong Kong.
Newly-crowned 41st Malaysian International Open champion, Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia and Ilya Syamim of Singapore will be defending the titles they won waay baack in 2019. Leading Hong Kong's challenge are 2018 Asian Games Men's Team silver medallists and 2017 World Championships Men's Trios gold medallist.
They include Wu Siu Hong, who has won the Hong Kong Men's Open title four times (2003, 2006, 2007 and 2018), Michael Mak (first runner-up in 2016), Eric Tseng and Tony Wong. These four will be the local seeded qualifiers. Melanie Chan, a newcomer to the national rank, will also be a Women's Open local seeded player.
The announcement wasa made during a press conference held today, attended by Mr Tong Wai Lun, BBS, JP., Vice President of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China; Mr Benjamin Hung, Assistant Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Dr Trisha Leahy, SBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Sports Institute.
Ms Vivien Lau, SBS, JP., Chairman of Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress made the annoucement during the press conference in her speech, followed by words of encouragment and support from Mr Tong, Mr Hung and Dr Leaahy with their speeches.
A photography session was held with the distiguished guests with the Hong Kong national team. Qualifying rounds for local bowlers will commence on June 9 to 11. Qualifying rounds for the overseaas bowers will commence from June 12 onwards.
The Men's and Women's Open Stage I finals will be contested on Friday, June 16 and the Stage II finals on June 17 culminating to the Stepadder Grand Finals to decide this year's champions.
Photos courtesy of HKTBC.