SINGAPORE - Singapore's youth bowlers took two of the three podium places in the Youth Open division of the 17th Kaohsiung International Open Bowling Championships held at the Southern Bowling Centre in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Sixteen-year-old Xavier Teo and compatriot Jomond Chia, 17, came in first and third respectively. They were part of a contingent of nine Singaporeans to take part in this year's competition.
The championship's Youth Open division is open to male and female bowlers 21 years old and younger, and has traditionally been fairly fruitful for the Republic's young bowlers. This year, however, was Xavier's first time qualifying for the finals in three attempts.
Overcoming a rocky start, he took the lead only in the penultimate round, before eventually clinching the title with a total of 1,624 pinfalls. Team-mate Jomond capitalised on a poor last round by Taiwanese competitor Chi Yun-fan to grab the final place on the podium. Liao Li-yang from Chinese Taipei took the silver medal.
In a press statement, Xavier was eager to downplay his achievement. He said: "Though I'm happy with my performance, there is more room for improvement. I've learnt more about myself during this tournament. I knew that the lane conditions would be tough so I went in there with an open mind and just did my best."
His thoughts were echoed by Jomond, who said: "I was struggling with the lanes and I found it tough to score. But I trust my coaches and the adjustments, and gave it my best. Overall, I am happy with the results."
Teo took home the top prize of NT$30,000 (S$1,360), while Chia pocketed NT$10,000.
Next up for the Team Singapore bowlers is the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland which will take place from July 17 to 30.