Sunday January 20, 2013
Rafiq manages a commendable third in Tokyo
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-oldís gallant run at the International Bowling Challenge in Nagoya, Japan came to an end when he finished third in the menís 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.
Japanís 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 youngsterís 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.
Malaysiaís team manager Cheah Ban Cheng lauded Rafiqís performance on the MTBCís official Facebook page saying: ďNo matter what, we are proud of Rafiq Ismailís performances throughout this championships. Itís a big achievement for him to emerge 3rd in the field of 136 finalists. Syabas! (Well done)Ē.
When contacted in Japan, Ban Cheng said he foresees a bright future for the SMK Bukit Indah student.
ďHe 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,Ē he said.
Meanwhile, reigning AMF World Cup champion Shayna Ng of Singapore stormed to the womenís title beating American Kelly Kulick with a convincing 248 to 201 score line. American Liz Johnson took third spot with Malaysiaís Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi and Japanís 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 Koreaís Jang Dong-chul beat Japanís (Saito Shigeo, Tagata Kengo, Obara Teruyuki) 245-193 to take home the menís title. The Japanese women fared better in the womenís event, with Asada Rina, Izumune Shion, Washizuka Shima scoring 204 to 170 to take the womenís 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.
Menís Trio: International team (Mike Fagan (US), Ryan Cimelli (US) and Jang Dong-chul (Kor) bt Japan (Saito Shigeo, Tagata Kengo, Obara Teruyuki) 245-193.
Womenís Trio: Japan (Asada Rina, Izumune Shion, Washizuka Shima) bt Internatonal team (Jazreel Tan (Sin), Jacqueline Sijore (Mas) and Tannya Roumimper (Ina) 204-170.