2023 Macao-China International Open 2023
Topseeds capture first international title

25th June, Hong Kong: Topseeds James Lui of Hong Kong, China and Kang Hye Rim of KNSU, Korea captured their first international Men's Open and Women's Open Masters titles at the concluding 2023 Macao-China International Open on Sunday.

Lui, who topped the earlier 8-games Round 2 finals with 1812 to advance to the stepladder finals as topseed, needed only one match to beat challenger and second-seed, Jang Tae Joon, 212-202 to win the Men's crown.

The 26-year-old Hong Kong national team member knocked down seven strikes-in-a-row from frame four to clinch the coveted title. Jang, who had earlier ousted Darren Ong of Singapore and 2023 Singapore Open first runner-up, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, 237-222-210 to face Lui.

Sixth-seed, Larpapharat defeated fourth-seed, 2023 Hong Kong Open champion, Tun Hakim of Malaysia and fifth-seed, Wu Siu Hong, 211-203-203 in the first stepladder finals to advance to the next match.

Newly-crowned Men's Open Masters champion, James Lui

Lui pocketed the top prize of MOP$70,000 (approx. US$8,900) as champion leaving Jang with MOP$30,000 as first runner-up. Ong, who ended up as third, went home with MOP$15,000 as second runner-up. Yannaphon, Hakim and Wu earned MOP$6,000, MOP$5,000 and MOP$4,000 respectively.

In the earlier 8-game Stage II finals, Mak topped the stage with 2068 to advance to the stepladder finals as topseed. Hakim, who was leading prior to the final game finished second with 2060 while Ismail took third position with 2041.

Ho, Leung and Tse made the cut for the stepladder finals in fourth to sixth positions with 1971, 1961 and 1960 respectively. Tony Wong of Hong Kong missed the cut by 30 pins after finishing seventh.

Meanwhile, ex-international and top local qualifier, Joey Yip captured the Women's crown edging challenger and fourth-seed, Jermaine Seah of Singapore, 211-209 in the title match. Yip became the second Hong Kong women to win the coveted Women's title since Chan Shuk Han winning it back in 2009.

Seah dispatched second-seed, Gigi Leung of Hong Kong and Veronica De Souza of Macau, 240-220-221 in the second match to face Yip. The Singaporean also defeated fifth-seed and defending champion, Iliya Syamin of Singapore and sixth-seed, Agnes Chang of Hong Kong, 255-222-233 in the first match.

Top 3 winners, Kang Tae Joon, James Lui and Darren Ong

Meanwhile, Kang Hye Rim, who won the Women's Graded Masters title last night, denied Japan's Yuri Sato of Japan the victory after the 22-year-old dispatched Sato, 190-168 in the final match to capture the Women's crown.

Sato dispatched two Macau national bowlers, fourth-seed Lou Si Hang and fifth-seed, Veronica de Souza, 195-162-155 to advance to the second match. The Japanese also defeated two Koreans, second-seed Oh Hyun Ji and Shin Hye Bin, 216-109-208 to face Kang in the title match.

But Sato could not repeat the form she showed in the earlier matches and lost to the topseed. Kang won MOP$40,000 as champion while Sato settled for MOP$18,000 as first runner-up and Shin took home MOP$10,000.

Oh pocketed MOP$4,000, Lou MOP$3,000 and de Souza MOP$2,000 respectively as fourth, fifth and sixth place finisher. Kang topped the earlier 8-games Round 2 finals with 1677, followed by Oh and Sin with 1649 and 1606.

Shin Hye Bin, Kang Hye Rim and Yuri Sato with their trophies

Hong Kong's Michael Mak and Tony Wong ended the Round 2 finals in 10th and 11th positions. The trophies and prizes were presented at the victory banquet hosted by Macau-China Bowling Association attended by government dignitaries, sponsors, team officials and athletes. More than 250 bowlers from Asia participated at the championships.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

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