Thursday, August 14, 2014

Junior keglers finally come good with boys' team silver

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia finally broke their duck at the World Youth Championships in Hong Kong by winning the silver in the boys’ team event.

The Malaysian quartet of Rafiq Ismail, Timmy Tan, Jonathan Ding Sagan and Ahmad Muaz Fishol began the day on the right foot with a combined 2,574 pinfalls in the second block for a 5,066 total to qualify for the semi-finals in second place behind the United States (5,368).

They boys then turned on the heat in the semi-finals with a massive 909-738 victory over England to advance to the final against the Americans.

However, Malaysia did not have the best of starts as they picked up five open frames and by the third game, the Americans had opened up a massive 53-pin lead.

Despite strikes from Jonathan (six) and Muaz (seven in a row) they failed to improve on the situation as they went down 735-812.

Japan and England shared the bronze.

“During the semis, we were bowling on the short oil pattern which we knew we had an advantage. But the long oil pattern in the final undid us a little because we didn’t make good shots and missed a lot of spares,” said Jonathan.

“But this silver medal is the most prestigious medal I have.”

However, it is still not over for Malaysia as Rafiq who qualified in fourth, Timmy (eighth) and Muaz (ninth) are down for the boys’ Masters event on Thursday having made the cut from the top 24 bowlers in their division.

Meanwhile, in the girls’ event, Victoria Chin, Radin Nur Najwa Arifah Radin Dzulfakar, Natasah Roslan and Nerosha Keligit missed out on the semi-final berth after finishing fifth with 2,733 after two blocks.

The foursome had put themselves in a good position after taking third in the overall standings after a good first block (2,404) on Tuesday.

However, they could only managed to knock down a combined effort of 744 and 876 in the fourth and fifth games. A 711 total in the sixth meant they finished seventh which saw them drop to fifth on the overall standings and out of the medal contention.

The gold went to Japan when they edged out Sweden by one pin 784-783. The bronze went to Finland and the US.

Radin (14th) and Victoria (16th) are set to compete in the girls’ Masters today after finishing in the top 24 with Natasha (25th) in reserve.

by Ashreena Pillai - The Star

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