World-class bowlers ready to do battle
1st May, Jakarta: A field of world-class bowlers are ready to do battle at the 8th World Ranking Masters 2008 for the next four days with the official opening held at Senayan Sportainment on Thursday afternoon. The top 8 men and top 8 women from each of the American zone, European zone and Asian zone making a total of 24 men and 24 women have assembled in the capital city of Indonesia hosted by Indonesian Bowling Association for the first time ever in Asian since its inception seven years ago.
The world-class field reached the World Ranking Masters through their zone ranking tournaments held throughout 2007, where each of the bowlers have earned points from the positions they finished in each of these tournaments.
Defending the men's crown will be England's Stuart Williams, who won the coveted title at the 2007 masters in Florida, USA. Strong title contender this year will surely be the local favourite and Asian Ranked No. 2, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia.
2001 and 2003 Asian Ranked No. 1, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong will also be one of the favourites so is 2005 Asian Ranked No. 1, Alex Liew of Malaysia. Strongest challengers from the American zone will be Argentine Lucas Legnani and Venezuela's Arturo Hernandez and Canadian Mark Buffa.
Asian Ranked No. 1, Kim Eun Jung of Korea, will carry Asia's battle against the top women from Europe and Americas. 2001, 2003 and 2004 Asia's No. 1 Shalin Zulkifli will surely give her opponents a run for their money.
The large crowd of local supporters will undoubtedly be firmly behind their bowling queen and Asia Ranked No. 1 in 2006, Putty Armein when the 26-year-old take to the lanes at Senayang Sportainment in the western part Jakarta.
Singapore will be represented by debutant and newly-crowned Malaysian Open women champion, Jazreel Tan. Jazreel, who made the finals raking up points from her silver medal in 2007 Women's World Championship in Mexico and a silver medal in the Korat SEA Games.
American zone strongest title contender will be the experienced Karen Marcano, who will be appearing at her fourth masters. 2003 World Championship Doubles gold medalist pair of Kirsten Penny and Zara Glover are expected to feature well for Europe.
The championship was officially declared open by the Honorable Mr Adhyaksa Dault, State Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs of Indonesia and guest of honour, and attended by the Honorable Ms Rita Subowo, Chairman of the Indonesian Olympic Committee.
Also present were Mrs Jessie Phua of Singapore, President of Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), American Zone (PABCON) President, Mr José Antonio Guandique of El Salvador representing World Tenpin Bowling Association President, Mr Kevin Dornberger of USA.
"This is the first international event in the history of Bowling in Indonesia being appointed the host," said the guest of honour, Mr Adhyaksa Dault in his speech.
"The trust and honour given by the World Tenpin Bowling Association to Indonesia as the host to a world bowling championship should constitute a challenge equally to Indonesian Bowling Association and the Indonesian community.
The guest of honour, dignitaries, embassy representatives, sponsors and guests were treated to a modern adaption of a traditional dance during the opening ceremony. The bowlers from all the three zones and 21 countries were introduced during their parade and march past.
The championship kicks off tomorrow (Friday) with the women contesting their first block of 8 games at 10.00am while the men will take to the lanes at 2.00pm. There will be three blocks of 8 games each bowled over the first 3 days.
The top 8 men and top 8 women at the end of the 24 games preliminary rounds will advance to the knockout stage in the quarter-final on Sunday May 4. The winners will advnace into the semi-final and eventually the final title round to decide this year's champion.
Photos by Terence Yaw.