HK teenage prodigy faces stiff competition

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 November, 2003, 12:00am

Hong Kong prodigy Wu Siu-hong is facing top players from South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia at this year's Hong Kong International Open Tenpin Bowling Championships which rolled off at South China Athletic Association (SCAA) Bowling Centre, Causeway Bay, yesterday.

'I may have some advantages when playing in Hong Kong because I am more familiar with the lane conditions of the venue,' he said.

'But many countries such as South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia have sent their top bowlers here, and this is also the last international open for this season, so everyone will try to do their best.'

The championships, which runs until next Friday, is the qualifying round for the fifth leg of the AVIVA Asian Bowling Tour. The top 14 bowlers will enter the Asian Tour's next leg to be held in Hong Kong on December 6 and 7.

The 19-year-old Wu, who was the second runner-up in the Hong Kong Open two years ago, said a top-six finish was his main goal.

'I will first focus on the first six places, then try to get to the finals step by step,' the full-time athlete said.

Wu does not think the expectations of local fans will be an added burden.

'Every player will feel extra pressure when playing at home because of the support of family, friends and local supporters,' he said.

'I'll try to handle this pressure and convert it into motivation. The pressure from the game itself is already very intense, so it's better to be relaxed and enjoy the game.'

In early October, Wu defeated Filipino Joonee Gatchalian in the final of the AVIVA Asian Bowling Tour's Indonesia leg in Jakarta.

It was one of Wu's first tournaments since the teenager took a six-month break to prepare for the HKCEE.

He returned to the bowling lanes in June.

'I was not in very good shape when I started practising again after the examination,' he said.

'Through a series of training and championship games, I started to pick up and get used to the competitive atmosphere again.'