Rafiq wins Hong Kong Open title

Rafiq posing with the tournament trophy. (Malaysia Tenpin Bowling Congress pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian bowling squad secured three podium finishes as national kegler Rafiq Ismail clinched the 45th Hong Kong International Open title at the SCAA Bowling Centre today.

The 22-year-old defeated compatriot Ahmad Muaz Fishol 236/223 against 244/174 in the men’s open stepladder final to clinch the title.

This is the reigning world champion’s third title of the season, after winning the Singapore Open last month and European Bowling Tour Masters in Madrid early this month.

Rafiq and Ahmad Muaz marched into the stepladder finals after topping the stage 2 finals with 1,883 and 1,848 pinfalls respectively.

Meanwhile, Nur Amirah Auni Azman was forced to settle for second place in the women’s open after losing to Singapore’s Iliya Syamin 215-160.

Nur Amirah advanced to the stepladder finals after finishing third in the stage 2 finals with 1,749 pinfalls, while Iliya topped the list with 1,794 pinfalls.

In the stepladder, Nur Amirah (288 pinfalls) overcame Lara Posadas-Wong (221) of the Philippines and Macau’s Won Son Ian (211) before playing against Iliya.