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Sunday January 20, 2013
By ASHREENA PILLAI
PETALING JAYA: Young Mohd Rafiq Ismail can hold his head high despite failing to win his first Word Bowling Tour title.
The 16-year-old’s gallant run at the International Bowling Challenge in Nagoya, Japan came to an end when he finished third in the men’s Finals to take home US$16,659.
In the first match, the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) special squad trainee started of strongly by knocking down 268 pinfalls to stay ahead of American pros Tommy Jones (261) and Sean Rash (215) to qualify for the next round.
Japan’s Suzuki Hiroki and American Chris Barnes who scored 190 and 180 respectively were eliminated.
However, it all stared to go awry for Rafiq in the second match as the changing lane conditions affected the youngster’s game and he could only managed a low score of 200 to finish third behind Rash (247) and Jones (229) who moved on into the title match.
The 35-year-old Jones beat Rash 209 to 204 to take home US$75,000.
Malaysia’s team manager Cheah Ban Cheng lauded Rafiq’s performance on the MTBC’s official Facebook page saying: “No matter what, we are proud of Rafiq Ismail’s performances throughout this championships. It’s a big achievement for him to emerge 3rd in the field of 136 finalists. Syabas! (Well done)”.
When contacted in Japan, Ban Cheng said he foresees a bright future for the SMK Bukit Indah student.
“He bowled a huge first game but as they got into the second match, the lane conditions changed and he could not make adjustments to his game quick enough to adapt to the changes. But he did well. He was focused on his own games and was not in awe of his more mature opponents,” he said.
Meanwhile, reigning AMF World Cup champion Shayna Ng of Singapore stormed to the women’s title beating American Kelly Kulick with a convincing 248 to 201 score line. American Liz Johnson took third spot with Malaysia’s Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi and Japan’s Nishimura Miki finishing in fourth and fifth place respectively.
In the trios event, the international team of Americans Mike Fagan and Ryan Cimelli and South Korea’s Jang Dong-chul beat Japan’s (Saito Shigeo, Tagata Kengo, Obara Teruyuki) 245-193 to take home the men’s title. The Japanese women fared better in the women’s event, with Asada Rina, Izumune Shion, Washizuka Shima scoring 204 to 170 to take the women’s title ahead of international team Jazreel Tan (Sin), Jacqueline Sijore (Mas) and Tannya Roumimper (Ina).
(Malaysians unless stated)
Men: 1. Tommy Jones (US) 209, Sean Rash (US) 204,
3. Mohd Rafiq Ismail 200, 4. Suzuki Hiroki (Jpn) 190, 5.
Chris Barnes (US) 180.
Women: 1. Shayna Ng (Sin) 248, 2. Kelly Kulick (US)
201, 3. Liz Johnson (US) 201, 4. Zandra Aziela Ibrahim
Hakimi 212, 5. Nishimura Miki (Jpn) 195.
Men’s Trio: International team (Mike Fagan (US),
Ryan Cimelli (US) and Jang Dong-chul (Kor) bt Japan
(Saito Shigeo, Tagata Kengo, Obara Teruyuki) 245-193.
Women’s Trio: Japan (Asada Rina, Izumune Shion,
Washizuka Shima) bt Internatonal team (Jazreel Tan
(Sin), Jacqueline Sijore (Mas) and Tannya Roumimper
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