Hong Kong pins hopes on bowling tournament
By Jonathan Powell
With STRONG home support, the Hong Kong team is confident of winning the 15th East Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships.
The Mei Foo Super Bowl is hosting the annual competition, which has attracted nearly 80 bowlers from seven East Asian countries.
The championships opened last week and will continue until Thursday.
The 12-member Hong Kong squad is led by outstanding talent Wu Siu-hong, a former South China Morning Post Student Sportsperson of the Year, and includes student Eric Tseng Tak-hin.
'It really makes a difference when we get support from the public,' said team manager Andrew Fung.
'Wu Siu-hong especially raises his game when there are people watching. He is a shy guy usually, but you notice his performance improves when the attention is on him.
'When we won silver in Macau last year at the East Asian Games, there were a lot of Hong Kong fans cheering him on. It made a big difference. He made 10 strikes in a row. He gets really pumped up.'
Wu, 21, finished fifth in the World Ranking Masters in Kuwait last month. In February, with partner Cyrus Cheung Chun-chung, he won gold in doubles at the Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Perth, Australia.
But the team no longer relies on Wu alone now. Sha Tin schoolboy Eric has also developed into a key player. Eric, 18, once scored 10 strikes in a row as well.
'Eric is young, but already has a lot of experience,' said Fung. 'His first big competition was four years ago at the Asian Schools Championships, and since then he has competed at many big tournaments.
'We don't rely on Wu as much now. If he's struggling, there are several players we can count on. We are much stronger these days. We expect to do well in these championships.'
A total of 39 men and 38 women are competing in six categories - singles, doubles, trios, team, all events and masters.
The singles and doubles were contested over the weekend. Trios, all events and team are today and tomorrow, with the prestigious masters category scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
Hong Kong will take on China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Japan and Macau at the tournament, part of their build-up for the Asian Championships in Indonesia in August, and December's Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.