Korea dominates Masters finals

Masters gold medalist, Kang Hee Won of Korea

Masters gold medalist, Kang Hee Won of Korea

14th December, Abu Dhabi: Korea dominated the Masters finals of the World Bowling Championships 2014 with Kang Hee Won capturing their fourth gold medal and Park Jong Woo-Choi Bok Eum winning their third and fourth bronze.

A packed house at Khalifa International Bowling Centre witnessed yet another thrilling and exciting finale to the 13-day long world-class bowling championships. Like the 5-player Team finals yesterday, the tie was decided in the tenth and final frame between Korea and United States.

All Events and Team silver medalist, Mike Fagan of USA started the final match with a double strike in his two opening frames but Kang went one up with three strikes-in-a-row from frame 3 to open up a small lead.

The American responded well with a double in the fifth and sixth frames to level thing up. Fagan’s attempt to take the lead landed him a poor shot with a 2-4-6-10 split in the seventh frame to fall 16 pins behind the Korean.

Korea's Kang Hee Won, Park Jong Woo and Choi Bok Eum dominating the Masters by winning the gold and two bronze medals

Korea’s Kang Hee Won, Park Jong Woo and Choi Bok Eum dominating the Masters by winning the gold and two bronze medals

Just when the match had favored Kang, he too stumbled to a similar split in the ninth frame. Fagan’s opportunity to win USA’s first gold in the championship came to an abrupt halt when he encountered yet another 4-6 split in the ninth frame.

And despite striking out from the tenth frame to end with 198, all Kang needed was to mark his tenth frame to take victory. The Korean delighted the crowd and his team-mates by striking home to win the tie with 213.

“I had a good match with Park which gave me the confidence needed to face the American,” said the 32-year-old national rookie, who won the Team gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon two months ago.

“When I made a bad shot in the ninth frame, it didn’t bother me too much and I said to myself all I needed was to put in full concentration in my next shot. And when Fagan had another split in the ninth frame, I knew I had the chance to win the match.

The champion eliminated two gold medalist, Park Jong Woo, 231-190 in the all-Korean semi-final match to earn a crack at the title while Fagan ousted top seed and third Korean, Choi Bok Eum, 212-197 in the other semi.

Masters medalists (L to R) Mike Fagan (USA-Silver), Kang Hee Won (KOR-Gold), Park Jong Woo and Choi Bok Eum (KOR-Bronze)

Masters medalists (L to R) Mike Fagan (USA-Silver), Kang Hee Won (KOR-Gold), Park Jong Woo and Choi Bok Eum (KOR-Bronze)

In the earlier Step 2 round-robin match-play Masters finals, Choi, who led Step 1 finals in the morning, remained in the lead with a score of 1721 winning six of the seven matches contested for a grand total of 8891.

Park finished second with 1682 and winning four matches for a total of 8669.

Kang took third spot with 1611 and won four matches for a total of 8520 while the fourth and last semi-finals spot went to Fagan with 8455 from three wins.

His team-mate, Tommy Jones missed the cut by 18 pins finishing fifth with

8437 and four wins. Martin Larsen of Sweden, Jason Belmonte of Australia and the fourth Korean, Shin Seung Hyeon ended in sixth to eighth positions respectively.

Three Koreans in the Step 1 Masters finals advanced to Step 2 taking the first three spots while the fourth advanced in eighth. Fagan and Jones took fourth and seventh while the Aussie and the Swede was fifth and sixth.

272 bowlers from 49 countries participated in the 13-day championships wholly supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council with the help of generous sponsors, Borouge, a leading provider of value-creating plastic solutions for infrastructure (a joint-venture organization between ADNOC and Borealis of Austria) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The championships is co-oganised by World Bowling and Emirates Bowling Federation supported by Zayed Sports City.