Malaysia wins their first gold on the final day of the 14th World Youth Championships in Nebraska
3rd August, Lincoln, Nebraska: Natasha Roslan won Malaysia’s first gold medal at the concluding 14th World Youth Championships with victory in the Girl’s Masters final, while Anthony Simonsen captured the USA’s sixth gold in the boy’s division.
At eighth-seed, Natasha easily took the first best-of-three game, 190-158, and almost sealed the tie when she ended the second game with 236, but her opponent, Amabel Chua of Singapore, struck out to win with 245 forcing the third deciding game. The 19-year-old Malaysia kept her good momentum with four consecutive strikes as the 16-year-old Singaporean failed to spare her fifth frame. She also missed a single pin spare in the sixth frame as Natasha went on to seal the match, 227-187 to win the first gold medal for Malaysia. The champion had breezed past 2014 Masters champion, Mirai Ishimoto of Japan, 2-0 (241-218,249-221) in the first semi-final match to advance to the gold medal round while Chua was lucky to beat two gold medalist and crowd favourite, Gazmine Mason of USA, 2-0 (196-187, 201-198) in the other semi.
“I’m so thrilled to have finally won a gold medal for my country,” said the delighted Natasha. “We came close to winning the gold in the Singles, Doubles and Team events. We are very proud to have achieved our goal and we’ve won medals in every event.”
Natasha had earlier eliminated Korea’s Lee Young Seung, 2-1 in the Step 3 finals to earn her place in the semi-final as her team-mate and Singles silver medalist, Victoria Chin lost to Chua, 1-2 in the same round.
Meanwhile, Doubles and Team gold medalist, Anthnoy Simonsen won his first individual gold medal after he easily defeated All Events gold medalist and top seed, Pontus Andersson of Sweden, 2-0 (245-213, 236-180) to give the USA its sixth gold medal of the championships. Simonsen earned a shot at the title after a hard-fought battle against triple gold medalist, Wesley Low Jr., 2-1 in the all-American two-handed semi-final match. Andersson also had an easy victory over Tun Hakim of Malaysia, 2-0 in the other semi. The Swede ousted a third American, Michael Tang, 2-1 in the Step 3 finals and Low defeated a second Malaysian, Rafiq Ismail, 2-0. Simonsen had to go to the third game when he beat sole Finn, Niko Oksanen, 2-1.
USA emerged as overall champions with six gold, thee silver and four bronze medals. They were also champion in the girl’s division with a medal haul of 2-2-3 and the boy’s divisions with a medal haul of 4-1-1. Wesley Low Jr. was the star of the championships winning three gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Gazmine Mason picked up two gold, two silver and one bronze medal. Korea finished second overall with two gold and one silver medal while Malaysia finished third with one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
129 boys and 79 girls from 37 countries participated in the 10 day championships at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska. The next World Youth Championships in 2018 will again be host by United States in Detroit, Michigan.
Written by Terrance Lam. Edited by Liz Fulton
About World Bowling: World Bowling is the governing body for the sport of bowling and incorporates 112 National Federations and over 200 million participants worldwide. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee, World Bowling is autonomous in administering the sport and is responsible to promote the development of bowling throughout the world, promote the Olympic movement, contribute to the achievement of the goals set forth in the Olympic Charter, establish rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and ensure that official bowling activities meet the requirements of the Olympic Charter.