Fighting spirit ensures four golds for youth bowlers

Doing Singapore proud at the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching, Sarawak are back (from left): Brandon Ong, Eugene Yeo, Jomond Chia and Xavier Teo; and front (from left): Jermaine Seah, Charlene Lim, Charmaine Chang and Amabel C
Doing Singapore proud at the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching, Sarawak are back (from left): Brandon Ong, Eugene Yeo, Jomond Chia and Xavier Teo; and front (from left): Jermaine Seah, Charlene Lim, Charmaine Chang and Amabel Chua.PHOTO: ABF ONLINE

Trailing by 243 pinfalls after the first day of the team event, Singapore's girls' bowling team came from behind to retain their title at the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching, Malaysia, after a "nerve-racking" second block yesterday.

The team - comprising Charmaine Chang, Amabel Chua, Jermaine Seah and Charlene Lim - hit 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, 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 with 5,123 pinfalls, after finishing third in the first block on Monday.

The Philippines ended 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."

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 and Xavier, also qualified for the Masters finals, which will take place today and tomorrow. 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."

Singapore are leading the overall medal tally with five golds and two bronzes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2019, with the headline 'Fighting spirit ensures four golds for youth bowlers'. Print Edition | Subscribe