21st March, K.Lumpur: Mohd Hilmi Zailan of Selangor started off the 29th Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship on a great footing after he bagged the High Game Award of the Day with a Canon PowerShot A410 Digital camera.
Mohd Hilmi, a member of Selangor's SUKMA squad, was in scintilating form chalking up 279 to win the high game of the day award of the Canon PowerShot A410 digital camera worth RM699. The 17-year-old who just finisned his SPM results with 5 distinction, posted lines of 185, 279, 235 and 219 to better his earlier Masters qualifying attempt of 739.
"Everything is going great for me right now after knowing I've done well in my SPM exams," said Mohd Hilmi. "I can now concentrate on my preparations for SUKMA with a good result in the finals next Friday.
Malaysia's National Elite squad members were the early birds at the on-going Malaysian International Open. SEA Games Gold medalist, Ben Heng almost took home the high game award after he posted a high game of 278 en-route to a 4-game total of 924 to temporarily lead the Men's Open Masters qualifying table.
National Gemilang 2010 squad member, Eric Ang pipped Heng to the top of the leaderboard scoring 941 in his first attempt. Ang impressed with lines of 218, 228, 238 and 257 while Heng scored 201, 256, 278 and 189 to settle for second.
Last year's runner-up and ex-national, Mustafa Yassin of Selangor will be hoping to go one up this year after he posted 885 to take up third spot in the qualifying table. Mustafa will need to do better to secure his pleace in the finals.
In the Ladies' Open division, ex-national and four-time National Champion, Shalin Zulkifli could only manage 806 in her first attempt but has taken top spot in the qualifying table. SEA Games and Asian Youth Gold medalist, Zandra Aziela finished second with 772 ahead of 2004 first runner-up, Siti Khadijah Osman of Selangor in third with 743.
While local bowlers will be vying for a place in the finals until this weekend, the bulk of the overseas participants will be arriving this Sunday, 26th March and scores will soar thereafter. The Men's defending champion is 2005 ABF Tour TOC champion, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong and the Ladies' defending champion is 15-year-old, Siti Safiyah Amirah.