20th April, Kuching: Merwin Tan of Philippines topped the Squad 2 to snatch the Boy's Singles gold medal of the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships while Squad 1 leader, Cheang Lok In of Macau remained unbeaten to win the Girl's gold.
Koran debutant, Han Seongsu had a superb start in his opening game of the second squad to lead Putana Buspanikonkul of Thailand by three pins as Eugene Yeo of Singapore was third with 224. The 19-year-old Tan, who won two gold medals at the 17th Asian School Championships in Hong Kong, added a sizzling 267 to take over the running.
Han also posted a splendid game of 254 but dropped to second, two pins behind the Filipino. Han's team-mate, Park Sanghyeok moved up to third after rolling 259 to add to his 206 in the first game. The leader continued to set a blistering pace with 244 to stretch his lead to 11 pins.
The two Koreans, Han and Park posted strong games of 235 and 236 in hot pursuit of Tan. The Filipino handed the lead to Han when he managed only 199 in the fourth game while Han shot 212 for the lead.
Tan bounched back with a respectable 207 to regain the lead as Han managed only 185 to slip 20 pins behind Tan. With 1140 from five games, Tan needed only 178 or more to overhaul Squad 1 leader, Brandon Ong of Singapore, who has 1318.
The leader kept his composure to end the squad with 212 to clinch the gold medal with 1352. William Clark of Australia, who was fifth before the sixth and final game, knocked down a stunning 280 to snatch the silver medal with 1334.
Park also ended strongly with 269 to claim the bronze medal with 1326. Ong was unlucky to miss the podium by just eight pins to end up fourth overall. Han finished fifth with 1309 while Muhammad Syazirol of Malaysia rounded out the top five with 1282.
Meanwhile, Squad 1 leader of the Girl's division, Cheang Lok In remained unbeaten with 1263 to win the first-ever gold medal for Macau. Singapore's Jermaine Seah and Charlene Lim, who were battling for the lead of the second squad, needed 228 and 237 or more in their final game to overhaul Cheang for the gold.
Chloe Jones of Australia set the early pace with 230, 212 and 196 in her first three games as Wang Hsiang-Yu of Chinese Taipei trailed after the opening game and Seah took over second after games two and three. As Seah continued to set the pace, Lim also picked up her pace to put themselves in contention.
But both managed only 155 nd 158 respectively and even failed to beat Koreans Kim Jeongji and Jeong Yeri, who were second and third in the first squad. Kim took the silver medal with 1260 while Jeong earned the bronze medal with 1209.
Seah missed the podium to take up fourth overall with 1190 while 2016 World Youth Masters silver medallist, Amabel Chua completed the top five with 1185. Mr Robert Lu, Vice President of Amatuer Bowling Association fo Sarawak presented the medals and mascot to the winners.
The players will resume competition with the Doubles event, again divided into two squads. The top 3 boys pair and top 3 girls pair with the highest pinfalls combined from the two squads will be awarded the medals.
The Team of Four event over two blocks of three games each, will be staged on April 22 and 23. The top 16 boys and top 16 girls with the highest pinfalls based on a total of 18 games from the Singles, Doubles and Team of Four event will advance to the Round-Robin Masters Finals scheduled for April 24 and 25 to decide the top 3 boys and top 3 girls with the highest pinfalls proceeding to the Stepladder Shootout finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuching, Sarawak.