11th June, Hong Kong: Ex-internationals Gigi Leung and Joey Yip will lead Hong Kong women's challenge for honours at the 46th Hong Kong International Open underway at SCAA Bowling Centre in Causeway Bay.
Yip impressed with two sets of 3-games qualifying squads of 770 and 732 to take up top spot in the Women's Open local pool with 1502. Leung also did extremely well to finish in a distant second with 1388 from 699 and 689.
Chan Ka Man occupied third spot with 1345 from sets of 688 and 657. The top 3 qualifiers in the local pool will earn a bye skipping Stage I finals and automatically advance to Stage II. Newcomer, Melanie Chan occupied the local seeded pool while Singapore's Ilya Syamim will be defending the title she took way back in 2019.
Katherine Wu missed the top four spots by 9 pins to take up fourth. Agnes Chang of Hong Kong headed the mixed pool with 1234 while the cut in eighth position went to Eubie Cheung Tsui Shan with 1103. The current scoring system is being used for this championship.
Meanwhile in the Men's Open division, 2019 Asian Championships Team gold medallist and national seeded qualifier, Tony Wong shot into the lead of the local pool with 1569 from two sets of 790 and 779.
Wong's 2019 Asian Championships Team gold winning team-mate and the first to rolled 800-plus series with 802, James Lui added 752 to move into second spot with 1554. Overnight leader, Danny Lee slipped down to third with 1547.
Again the top 3 local qualifiers will earn a bye and automatically advance to Stage II finals. Another national bowler, Ivan Tse missed the top 3 cut by two pins occupying fourth position with 1545. The only overseas Men's Open qualifier was Ho Chi Chong of Macau, who took up top spot with 1375.
Two perfect games have been achieved over the past three days. The first came fom Otto Leung of Hong Kong on June 9 while the second was Anson Li Ho Yiu of Hong Kong on June 10. Newly-crowned Malaysian Open champion, Rafiq Ismail is the Men's defending champion.
Hong Kong national youth, Alex Yu headed the mixed pool with 147 while the cut in tenth position went to Chow Man Hin of Hong Kong with 1341. The bulk of the overseas bowlers will be arriving tomorro, June 12 and will have priority in booking squads for the qualifying.
The opening ceremony will also be held at 7.00 pm local time. Qualifying will continue through to June 15 and the Open Masters Stage I finals will be contested on June 16. Stage II finals will be held on June 17 culminating to the Stepladder Grand finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.