Malaysian retains Singapore Open Masters title

SINGAPORE: Malaysia’s Wendy Chai boosted her confidence ahead of the Aviva Asian Bowling Tour Grand Slam Finals with a successful defence of the Singapore Open Masters title at the Victor Superbowl here yesterday. 

Wendy, who moved into the stepladder final as the top qualifier with a total of 3,381 pinfalls in 16 games, defeated European champion Kristen Penny of England 220-188 to take the title. 

“I am happy with my performance here, and I hope to continue my form and be able to do well in the Asian Tour Grand Slam Finals, which begin tomorrow at the Plaza Bowl,” said Wendy, who is ranked 10th in the 16-bowler field for the Finals. 

Wendy was the top qualifier for the Finals last year but she failed to get among the eight bowlers for the knockout stage. The Busan Asian Games double gold medallist will be out to make amends this time. 

MASTER BOWLER: Wendy rules in Singapore again.

“Winning this title has given me the confidence for the Grand Slam Finals and I'll be going all out to at least qualify for the knockout stage,” said the 25-year-old Wendy. 

“It was disappointing that I did not make it last year when I was ranked number one. There will be no pressure on me this time and I am confident that I can make the knockout stage. If I can advance further, it will be a bonus.” 

Overall, it was a great show by the Malaysian women. Three others – Shalin Zulkifli, Lai Kin Ngoh and Sarah Yap – also made it to the step-ladder finals in third, fifth and sixth spots after the second block of eight games. 

Shalin failed to make it an all-Malaysian final, losing to Penny by one pin (194-193) in the second step-ladder roll-off with Sarah scoring a 176. Sarah had won the first step-ladder roll-off with a score of 217 while Kin Ngoh and Indonesian Happy Soediyono scored a 181 and 174 respectively. 

In the men's competition, World Ranking Masters runner-up Bandar Al Shafi of Qatar emerged as the champion, beating teammate Saeed Al-Hajri 232-212 in sudden death roll-of. Saeed had won the first match 215-193. 

It was a sad end for two Malaysian men. Ben Heng and Daniel Lim, who qualified for the step-ladder finals in third and fifth places respectively, lost their match to eventually finish third and fourth. 

In the first step-ladder roll-off, Daniel defeated Andrew Frawley of Australia and Qatar’s Mubarak Ali with a score of 207 against 189 and 197 respectively. 

However, Saeed struck four strikes to beat Ben and Daniel with a score of 237 against the Malaysians’ 221 and 199. 

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