8th July, Hong Kong: Hideaki Hata won Japan's first gold medal at the 20th Asian School Tenpin Bowling Championships with victory in the Boy's Singles with compatriot Naoto Kanno adding up the bronze medal.
Keita Asakawa got off to a brilliant start with a superb 254 in his opening game to lead Hata by 5 pins. Musaab Salim Aladawi of Oman and Hassan Qasem of Kuwait both registered high games of 245 and 237 for third and fourth positions.
The Omani added an identical 245 in his second game to take over the running while Asakawa slipped to second despite adding 216. Singapore's Dylan Teoh rolled 244 to add to his 221 opening game to move up to third as Hata shot 215 to slip down to fourth.
Musaab was on a roll with another strong game of 223 to retain the lead. Hata shot 246 to move back up to second, just 3 pins adrift the leader. Former Hong Kong national youth, Nixon Chan of Australia reeled in 225, 238 and 227 to take up third.
Hata quickened his pace with a sizzling 267 to move into the lead. Australia's Cameron Stein also bowled a big game of 269 to take over second while Chan maintained third. Musaab dropped down to fourth despite a 204 in the fourth game.
There was no stopping the Japanese debutant as he fired 223 and 247 in his fifth and final game to seal the gold medal with 1447. Chan ended with 238 and 202 to clinch the silver medal with 1377. A third Japanese, Naoto Kanno stormed home with 246 and 258 to snatch the bronze medal with 1368.
Stein suffered a poor 178 in his final game to miss the podium by a single pin in fourth position with 1367. Musaab completed the top five with 1354.
Earlier in the Girl's division, Arianne Tay and Fion Liew gave Singapore a superb start by winning the gold and silver medals with 1380 and 1363 respectively. Haru Suzuki gave Japan its first medal by picking up the bronze with 1339.
Competition will shift to the Doubles event tomorrow with the boys contesting in the morning and the girls in the afternoon. The Team of Four is scheduled for July 10 voer two blocks of three games.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.