Japanese men put on a show to defend the Asian Games team title


    15th Asian Games

    Qatar Bowling Center in Doha, Qatar (Dec. 3-10, 2006)

    As we promised yesterday, the second block on short oil in the men's Team event was an extra exciting round. Starting the day in 6th place, trailing long-oil leader Korea by 261 pins, 2002 Asian Games champion Japan put on a show en route to successfully defending the title.

    Toshihiko Takahashi, Masaaki Takemoto, Tomoyuki Sasaki, Tomokatsu Yamashita and Masaru Ito averaged 233.47 on short oil and felled 3502 pins, 412 pins more than rival Korea. Sasaki, who replaced Yoshinao Masatoki, shot a huge 747 series (279, 266, 202). Picture courtesy of Japan Bowling Congress. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    The Japanese started the day with 1234, the highest team game of the event, to narrow the gap to Korea to 14 pins. They easily overtook Korea in the fifth game with 1136 (to 1075) and cruised to victory with 1132 (to 1028). Japan totaled 6579 pins, an average of 219.30. What's particularly remarkable is that none of this year's players were on the 2002 winning team.

    Korea with Choi Bok Eum, Joung Seoung Joo, Byun Ho Jin, Kang Hee Won, Jo Nam Yi and Park Sang Pil finished in second place with 6428 (214.27).

    The host country, Saudia Arabia and Singapore battled it out for the bronze medal. Qatar's Bandar Al Shafi, Mubarak Al Muraikhi, who had a 299 in game #5, Ahmed Shaheen, Abdulla Al Qattan and Saeed Al Hajri were in third place heading into the final game but finished with a disappointing 950-game, a 190.00 average, to slip all the way out of the medals and to finish sixth with 6274 (209.13).

    Malaysia with Daniel Lim, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Alex Liew, Ben Heng, Aaron Kong and Azidi Ameran flew past the Qataris with 1103 to land in fifth place with 6332 (211.07).

    Singapore with three-time Asian Games champion Remy Ong, Lee Yu-Wen, Carl De Vries, Jason Yeong-Nathan and Shaun Ng were mere six pins behind the Saudi Arabians after five games and closed out the event with a solid 1065-game. Shaun Ng led the team with a huge 1411 six-game series, the second highest of all players.

    However, Saudi Arabia had Bader Al Shaikh. Already leading in All Events after three disciplines, the Doubles champion felled 1414 pins (700 on long and 714 on short oil), an average of 235.67 to lead his brother Hassan and their team mates Faisal Al Juraifani, Ahmad Al Hdyan and Yousif Akbar to the bronze medal with 6349 to Singapore's 6346 and claim the gold medal in All Events.

    Men's Team event - Final Standings (G1-3 long oil, G4-6 short oil)

    Korea takes dominating lead in Team event after long oil portion

    2006AsianGamesLogo.jpg The Korean men's team has one mere one silver medal thus far in the 15th Asian Games at the Qatar Bowling Center in Doha, Qatar.

    However, after the first block on long oil in the five-player team event, Choi Bok Eum, Joung Seoung Joo, Park Sang Pil, Kang Hee Won and Jo Nam Yi are the overwhelming favorite for the for the gold medal.

    The five-some had games of 1132, 1107 and 1099 for 3338 pinfall total, an average of 222.53, and outaveraged their nearest competitor by nearly 15 pins. Jo Nam Yi, who was the best player in the trios event, posted the highest series of the day with 707 (241, 200, 266).

    Trailing the Koreans by 219 pins was the team from the host country of Qatar. Bandar Al Shafi, Mubarak Al Muraikhi, Ahmed Shaheen, Abdulla Al Qattan and Saeed Al Hajri had games of 997, 1079 and 1043 for 3119 (207.93).

    Third place belonged to the Philippines. Markwin Tee, CJ Suarez, Biboy Rivera, Chester King and Paeng Nepomuceno checked in with 3114 (207.60) behind games of 955, 1067 and 1092.

    The next four teams, 4. Saudi Arabia 3096, 5. Malaysia 3092, 6. defending champion Japan 3077 and 7. Indonesia 3075, are less than 50 pins behind the Qataris, making tomorrow's second block on short oil an extra exciting round.

    Men's Team event - Standings after the first block on long oil