SINGAPORE - Trailing by 243 pinfalls after the first day of the team event, Singapore's girls' bowling team came back to retain their title by 36 pinfalls at the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching, Malaysia, after a "nerve-wracking" second block on Tuesday (April 23).
The team, comprising Charmaine Chang, Amabel Chua, Jermaine Seah and Charlene Lim, scored 4,664 pinfalls to win the gold ahead of South Korea (4,628) and Malaysia (4,617).
Said 18-year-old Amabel: "During the second block of the team event, we all knew that there was still hope for us to clinch the gold medal.
"If one of us opens a frame, we will try our best to cover each other. We made sure we threw one shot at a time and focused only on the present. I thought that our fighting spirit and perseverance made us what we are today."
The boys' team of Brandon Ong, Eugene Yeo, Xavier Teo and Jomond Chia also came from behind to clinch the boys' title on Tuesday with 5,123 pinfalls after finishing third in the first block on Monday.
The Philippines finished second with 4,996 pinfalls followed by South Korea with 4,979.
Amabel and Brandon also won the girls' and boys' all-events title respectively after their performance throughout the April 17-25 event.
Amabel scored 3,652 pinfalls, ahead of Malaysia's Gillian Lim (3,609), while Jermaine took the bronze with 3,594 pinfalls.
Brandon had 4,103 pinfalls, followed by Malaysian Muhammad Hafiz (3,933) and Filipino Merwin Tan (3,860).
National head coach Helmi Chew hailed their performance as "a great lesson in never giving up".
He said: "It was a wonderful result from both the boys and girls. Fighting from behind today showed lots of grit and character from both teams."
Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua added: "I am extremely happy and proud of this team of emerging bowlers. It was a very close race for both teams but they kept their cool and stayed focused on the process.
"What a great day for the team on their haul of four golds today! There's still the Masters to be competed, but so far this is our best showing at the (competition)."
Earlier in the competition, Brandon and Jomond clinched the boys' doubles title with 2,740 pinfalls while Amabel and Charmaine finished third in the girls' doubles with 2,354.
The girls' team along with Brandon, Jomond, Xavier also qualified for the Masters Finals which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday.
While winning the all-events title is a confidence booster for Amabel, she said: "I still have to be focused on doing things that can be controlled which is my process and get it right. The results will come after."
After Tuesday's results, Singapore are leading the overall medal tally with five golds and two bronzes.