Malaysians escapes the leaders' curse, win Boys Team title from top seed in World Youth Championships


    2008 World Youth Championships

    The Malaysian boys team became the sole No. 1 seed, who won the gold medal in the 10th World Youth Championships when they defeated equally tough Finland, 837-819, en route to claim the title in the Boys four-player team event Wednesday evening at Boardwalk bowl in Orlando, Fla.

    L-R Boys Team champion Malaysia with Nur Aiman, Syafiq Ridhwan, Adrian Ang and Aaron Kong.

    Nur Aiman (190), Syafiq Ridhwan (232), Adrian Ang (162), and Aaron Kong (253) had a comfortable lead heading into the final frame but the Finns fought back and the decision was made in the final frame. When Kong struck on his first ball and Jonas Jähi did not, the match was over.
    Magnus Lönnroth (222), Juhani Tonteri (226), Joonas Jehkinen (213) and Jähi (158) took the silver medal.

    In the semi-finals, Malaysia topped No. 4 seeded Norway with Fredrik Tjernes, Martin Olsen, Svein Åke Ek and Mads Sandbaekken, in a high-scoring match, 876-845. In the other semi-final, Junior team USA with John Szczerbinski, Adam Martinez, Dean Richards and Matt O'Grady were close to beat Finland, but a huge split that resulted in an open frame by anchor O'Grady, sealed the fate of the Americans, 819-814.

    Norway and the team from the host country shared the bronze medal. The 10th World Youth Championships will conclude with the Boys and Girls Masters finals on Thursday.

    10th World Youth Championships - Boys four-player Team event

    Championship Round:
    1. Malaysia
    2. Finland
    3. United States and Finland

    Match 1:
    #1 Malaysia (Nur Aiman 238, Syafiq Ridhwan 226, Adrian Ang 201, Aaron Kong 211) def.
    #4 Norway (Fredrik Tjernes 195, Martin Olsen 222, Svein Åke Ek 207, Mads Sandbaekken 221), 876-845

    Match 2:
    #3 Finland (Magnus Lönnroth 208, Juhani Tonteri 204, Joonas Jehkinen 202, Joonas Jähi 205) def.
    #2 United States (John Szczerbinski 202, Adam Martinez 220, Dean Richards 198, Matt O'Grady 194), 819-814

    Title Match:
    #1 Malaysia (Nur Aiman 190, Syafiq Ridhwan 232, Adrian Ang 162, Aaron Kong 253) def.
    #3 Finland (Magnus Lönnroth 222, Juhani Tonteri 226, Joonas Jehkinen 213, Joonas Jähi 158), 837-819.

    Aaron Kong interviewed after winning the team gold

    Malaysia, United States, Finland, Norway to bowl for Boys Team title in World Youth Championships

    2008WYCBoysTeamMalaysia2.jpg The Malaysian boys retained the lead after six games of preliminaries at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Youth Championships. Malaysia closed the day with a 943 game after starting with 835 and 916 to hold onto the lead with a 5,289 total, which was 100 pins better than second place finished the United States.

    L-R No. 1 seed Malaysia with Nur Aiman, Syafiq Ridhwan, Adrian Ang and Aaron Kong.

    Adrian Ang led the Malaysians to a strong finish as he started the last game of the preliminaries with 10 consecutive strikes before settling for a 287 game. Nur Aiman led Malaysia with 1,373 and was followed by Aaron Kong (1,335), Ang (1,300) and Syafiq Ridhwan (1,281).

    2008WYCBoysUSA.jpg The United States advanced to its first semifinal round of these championships, totaling 5,189. The Americans got off to a hot start with 932 and cruised into the semifinals. Dean Richards shot 1,391 to pace the United States and was trailed by John Szczerbinski (1,354), Matt O'Grady (1,276) and Adam Martinez (1,168).

    No. 2 seed Junior Team USA with Martinez, Richards, O'Grady and Szczerbinski.

    Finland totaled 5,113 to earn the No. 2 spot while Norway was fourth with 5,076. In the semifinals, Malaysia will take on Norway while the United States battles Finland.

    2008WYCDominicBarrettMadsSandbaekken.jpg Dominic Barrett (pictured left) of England played in his own class and easily won the gold medal in the boys All Events (combined results from Singles, Doubles and Team), finishing with a tournament record 4,153 total for 18 games. Barrett's average of better than 230 a game topped the old record, set in 1992 by Qatar's Saeed Al Hajri (3982) by 171 pins.

    Joining Barrett on the medal stand will be his room mate on the European Bowling Tour, Mads Sandbækken (pictured right) of Norway, who took the silver with 1,330, and Joonas Jehkinen of Finland won the bronze with 3,926.

    The top 16 players in All Events advanced to the best-of-five, single-elimination Masters competition on Thursday.

    All Events - Final Standings after 18 games

    Boys Team event - 6 games, 1-3 on long, 4-6 on short oil

    The top 4 advance to the finals.