9th December, Abu Dhabi: Fourth-seed Choi Bok Eum and Park Jong Woo came from behind to snatch Korea’s first gold medal at the World Bowling Championships after defeating Japan, 410-396 in the Doubles finals.
In the title match, Choi had two splits in the first and fourth frames and Daisuke Yoshida too had two splits in the second and fourth frames. But Yoshida’s partner, Shusaku Asato covered with a double in the second and third frames.
Choi’s team-mate and Incheon Asian Games Masters and Team gold medalist, Park only got going with a double in the fourth and fifth frames to level things up.
Yoshida rolled three-in-a-row to take a slender lead but could not take his striking power all the way to the end and although Asato did recovered with with a double after an opened frame in the fifth, he too could not carry it all the way to the end.
Choi made sure he had no more open frames while Park needed to double in the tenth frame after a strike in the ninth to take victory and the gold medal.
Yoshida managed 191 with Asato 205 for a total of 396. Choi posted 184 and Park was the hero in the match with 226 for a 410 total.
“Choi didn’t have a good start and then he had a perfect pocket shot only to see pin 7 and 10 standing,” said the 23-year-old star of the Incheon Asian Games winning the Masters and Team gold medals.
“I kept telling myself to take deep breaths and keep my composure otherwise I will make silly mistakes. In the other, it paid off and I’m so glad to win my first gold medal at the world championships.”
The champion had also come from behind to beat top seed, Joonas Jehkinen and Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland, 490-466 in the second semi-final match to advance to the finals.
The Japanese pair sailed past third-seed, Kang Hee Won and Shin Seung Hyeon of Korea, 447-379 in the first semi-finals to face the Korean pair of Choi and Park in the finals.
In the earlier fourth and final squad of the preliminaries, Choi and Park snatched top spot with 2703 to clinch the fourth and final semi-finals spot.
2014 World Youth Masters champion, Jesper Svensson and Robert Andersson, who was leading before going into the final game, ended in second with 2680.
The Swedes missed the cut by 23 pins to finish sixth overall. Their team-mates Martin Larsen and Daniel Fransson were knocked off the top 4 into fifth overall by the Koreans and missed the cut by 15 pins.
Zulmazran Zulkifli and Adrian Ang of Malaysia was third in the fourth squad with 2646 but ended up ninth overall.
Squad 1 leader, Jehkinen and Lehtonen remained as top seed with 2729 while third squad leader, Yoshida and Asato advanced in second with 2725.
The competition will next shift to the Trios event over two blocks of three games on December 10 and 11, divided into three squads. The top 4 at the end of the second block will square off in the shootout semi-finals and finals.