Singapore saw its first men's champion at the Singapore International Open since 2006, as former national bowler Vincent Lim emerged triumphant at Orchid Bowl yesterday.
However, Shayna Ng came agonisingly close to securing a rare double for the Republic, but she fell just three pinfalls short of winning the women's title.
Lim, 33, beat Malaysia's Ahmad Muaz 207-175 in the final match of the Men's Open step-ladder finals for his first Singapore Open title.
"I missed the first frame, then I had to try to keep my cool and make up for that one miss," said Lim, who had averaged 246.1 pinfalls in the second round of the Masters qualifying to head into the step-ladder finals as top seed.
It might have initially seemed like deja vu for Lim, as he had been missing crucial shots in recent tournaments.
However, he held his ground, adding: "My opponent was also not striking, so I tried to keep the pressure on him."
Lim, who was part of the national team from 2000 to 2002, has enjoyed a good year in the sport.
He finished second in April's MWA Thailand International Open, adding that this win on home ground more than makes up for his loss in that step-ladder final.
Lim believes his current job as a bowling coach has improved his game, although he tried to avoid being overly technical as a competitor.
Ng had also entered the women's step-ladder finals as the top seed.
However, the 24-year-old national bowler lost in heartbreaking fashion, 221-223, to Malaysia's defending champion and 2010 winner Sin Li Jane.
"Up until the last frame, anyone could win - I had a chance, she had a chance," the Malaysian said of the match, which saw the two rivals taking turns to lead.
"The only thing I was thinking about was knocking down all the pins."
Ng had bowled eight strikes as compared to Sin's five, but hit nine pins on her fourth throw and split during her ninth.
In tears after her narrow defeat, she said: "I was disappointed just now, but I tried my best and gave it my all.
"I think we should understand that not all the time when we are at our best, we actually win. It's a lesson learnt, because Li Jane is a strong opponent."
National coach Remy Ong, said the tournament was a good one overall for local bowlers.
He cited 19-year-old Muhammad Jaris Goh's men's third-place finishing as a good boost for the team en route to their Asian Games campaign.
Kristin Quah, 18, ensured Singapore dominated the podium by also claiming third in the Women's Open.
This article was first published on June 8, 2014.
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