18th September, Hong Kong: Singapore's New Hui Fen ended her campaign at the 36th Hong Kong International Open to finish fourth after losing to eventual champion, Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia in the Women's Open Masters second stepladder match.
New Hui Fen ended the Women's Stage 2 finals remarkably in third position with 2127 in an extremely stiff field in which Malaysian women dominated the finals. Zandra Aziela topped the stage with 2189 followed by Singapore Open champion, Sin Li Jane in second with 2163.
Three-time Hong Kong Open champion, Shalin tied fourth with another Malaysian, Sharon Koh with 2108 ahead of Chinese Taipei's Tsai Hsin Yi squeezing into the stepladder finals in sixth.
Geraldine Ng, Cherie Tan and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan, who did well in Stage 1, fell by the wayside to end the second round ninth, 11th and eighth positions respectively.
Shalin edged Sharon Koh and Tsai Hsin Yi, 227-224-222 in a thrilling first stepladder match and went on to defeat Hui Fen and second-seed, Sin Li Jane in the second match. Hui Fen never settled down to her usual rythmn with four open frames to end in a disappointing 150.
Shalin then forced top seed, Zandra Aziela into the sudden-death decider after winning the first, 233-221. And although Zandra posted an identical 221, Shalin was in superb form romping home a comfortable victory for her fourth Hong Kong Open title.
Asia Ranked No. 1, Hussain Al-Suawaidi of UAE denied Malaysia a double when he beat challenger, Zulmazran Zulkifli of Malaysia, 221-182 in the finals to win the men's crown. Zulmazran had ousted two Chinese, No. 2 seed Mi Zhang Li and Du Jian Chao, 238-234-207 to advance to the finals.
Du won the first match by defeating fourth-seed Cyrus Cheung of Hong Kong and fifth-seed, Jeri Ramadona of Indonesia, 212-203-199 before crashing out in the second match.
Hussain won HK$55,000 as champion with Zulmazran settling for HK$22,000. Shalin took home HK$28,000 as the women's champion and Zandra settling for HK$12,000. Li Jane and Hui Fen won HK$7,000 and HK$3,500 respectively.