America nails first gold in Singles

6th September, Monterry: Shannon O'Keefe finally nailed America's first gold medal of the World Women's Championship with victory in the Singles after 2 silver and 1 bronze medal in the earlier two events while Korea's Choi Jin A emerged the All Events champion.

The first group that contested the first squad of the Singles event after just completed the ardous Team event before the squad started on Wednesday evening, just could not score well. Denmark's Rikke Holm Rasmussen topped the field in the first squad with 1285.

In Squad 2 the next day, spinner, Chien Hsiu Lan of Chinese Taipei set the early pace and by the fourth game, the Taiwanese was leading the the field with 873 from Sofia Granda of Guatemala in second. Chien needed just 413 to take over pole position with two more squads to bowl but fell short to give the lead of this squad to Granda who totaled 1273.

Rasmussen stills held all the aces at the end of Squad 2 but the big guns were coming on line in the last two squads. The consensus of opinion was that 1320 will be the gold medal score.

Erik Kok, the Dutch coach, must have been doing things right in Squad 3 as his daughter, Wendy Kok led Squad 3 after the first two games. But when the big guns started firing their ammunitions, the field saw Shannon O'Keefe surging to the lead at the halfway mark.

The American continued to reel off 212, 210 and 233 to end the squad with a superb 1362. Ann-Maree Putney of Australia finished second with 1336, thanks to a 258, 257 and 193 in her second series followed by Malaysia's Wendy Chai third on 1302.

At the final Squad 4, Indonesia's youngster, Shalima Zalsha stole the limelight as she broke away from the field with a 47-pin lead after the first three games and she would need a minimum of 672 of more for a crack at the gold.

A poor 189 and 197 in the next two games meant she would only be going for a bronze. The Indonesian struck in the 10th frame and need another in the 11th to upstage Wendy Chai for the bronze but left a stubborn pin 10. Netherland's Priscilla Maaswinkel finished pole in this squad with 1295 leaving Shalima in second with 1287.

The final position for the top 3 reamined from Squad 3 with O'Keefe taking the gold, Putney the silver and Wendy Chai the bronze.

Choi Jin A added another gold to her collection and for Korea as she topped the All Events final standings with 5316. Tennelle Milligan of USA took the silver with 5282 while a second in the Singles hauled Ann-Maree Putney of Australia into third spot for the bronze medal with 5256.

Jazreel Tan, who took fifth spot in the Singles Squad 3 and 10th overall, was the only Singaporean to make the Masters finals after finishing seventh in the All Events final standings. Tan will face Esther Cheah of Malaysia in the knockout stage.

The top 16 advanced to the knockout stage of the Masters finals which will commence tomorrow with the first round and the quarterfinals. The semifinals and the final top 2 matches will take place on Saturday, September 8.

Detailed scores: Singles Combined | All Events | Photo Album.

Photos courtesy of Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International.