Malaysian bowlers on a roll

14th July, Hong Kong: Malaysian bowlers were on a roll as Wan Nur Atiqqa and Zatil Iman Abdul Ghani finished first and third in the 10th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championship Girl's first block Masters finals while Singles Golds medalist, Zaid Izlan took third spot in the boy's division.

Wan Nur Atiqqa, who is competing in the Asian Schools championships for the third time, had a cracking opening game to tie with Singapore's Edlyn Kwok You Jing on 259 and earning 5 bonus points each. Although Atiqqa won her second match of the 8-game round-robin matchplay finals with only 180, the Malaysian slipped down to fourth.

The 17-year-old Bukit Jalil pupil bounced back with 210 and 250 in her next two matches to regain the lead at the halfway mark but lost her fifth game with 176 to hand the lead to Korea's Kim Mun-Jeong and trailed by 57 pins.

Kim had back-to-back 247 games in the fourth and fifth games and followed it up with another 244 in the sixth game to stretch her lead to 88 pins. But the Doubles gold medalist suffered a set back with 168 while Atiqqa posted 220 to narrow the gap to 36 pins going into the final game.

Kim could not sustain the pace and the relentless pressure from her opponents to end the block with just 188 while Atiqqa was in superb form bringing home a 245 to finish in pole position. The leader amassed a total of 1798 and winning 4 matches and tied 1.

"I don't know why I always do well in the Asian Schools championship but I'm glad I have a chance to do better this time," said Atiqqa, who has won two gold medals in her two previous meet but finished second in 2005 and third in 2006 in both the Masters finals.

The Korean totaled 1767, 31 pins adrift with Zatil Iman of Malaysia 1 in third spot with 1738. Singles gold medalist, Anne Marjorie Reyes of the Philippines stormed home to take up fourth spot with 1690 with All Events gold medalist, Shin Bo-Hyun rounding up the top 5

In the boy's division, the Koreans again gave their opponents a clean pair of heels as All Events and Team gold medalist, Shin Seung-Hyeon and Choi Tae-Seung finished 1-2 in the first block of 8 games Masters finals.

Except for the sub-200 final game in the eighth, Shin knocked down lines of 206, 223, 232, 255, 210 and 255 in his first seven games winning 7 matches to total 1866. Choi trailed his compatriot by 43 pins after posting 1823 while Singles gold medalist, Zaid Izlan took third spot with 1761 and appeared as the only one who can mount a challenge to the mighty Koreans.

Singapore's best performer was Loh Xian Yan after taking up fourth place with 1761 followed by Qatar's Hamad Al Mosalam in fifth spot with 1704. Singles silver medalist, Muhd Nur Aiman, who led briefly after the fifth game, ended up in sixth with 1685.

The finalists will bowl another 8 games on Sunday, 15th July and the top 3 boys and girls at the end of the 16-games total will proceed to the stepladder finals for the final two gold medals of the competition.

Detailed scores: Girl's Masters 1stBlk | Boy's Masters 1stBlk | Photo Album.

Photos by Terence Yaw for HKTBC.