Learning the tricks from the best
Top women players are showing their skills at the World Tenpin Bowling Championships at Hong Kong Bowling City in Kowloon Bay. The tournament is held every two years, and this year's event runs until Sunday. The organising committee arranged a master class for the city's youngsters in the run-up to the tournament. World champions Shannon O'Keefe and Stefanie Nation joined other players from Team USA to instruct the sport's young local hopefuls.
Students from CCC Mong Man Wai College were among the group who attended the clinic last Tuesday.
Many of them started systematic training in the sport only this summer. Yet all the students were keen to hear O'Keefe's expert advice.
The school's team was made up of five Form Four students: Wayne Cheung Wai-chuen, Falcon Wong Kam-hei, Issac Leung Yi, Chloe Lee Wing-yan and Debby Wong Tsz-ming.
They had much to learn from O'Keefe, the 2007 world champion in the women's singles.
'I am now more confident of playing on the lane,' said Chloe, the school team's captain, following the practice session.
'Before establishing our team, our school sent players to compete at the Inter-school Tenpin Bowling Competition. We came fifth, losing by only one point to the fourth-ranked team in the competition last April.
'With what we have learned today, I think our team has a good chance of getting better results next year.'
Her teammate Issac only started bowling more seriously in July.
'I was nervous today and kept sending the ball off the lane,' he admitted.
'But after Shannon corrected my swing and angle of releasing the ball, I did better.'
Chinese teacher Lew Yuk-fong and geography teacher Ho Man-kai helped set up the school's bowling team. Lew said she was delighted the world champion found time to train the students.
'I know Team USA's schedule is very tight,' she said.
'I didn't expect players to agree to an hour-long session with the students. It was a very important experience for our players.'
The young bowlers will have a weekly practice session throughout the school year, Lew added.
O'Keefe said she was surprised to learn that many of the students were new to the sport.
'I didn't know they had only been training for a month,' she said. 'They are really talented and if they can keep it up, they have a bright future in the sport.'
O'Keefe singled out Chloe as the player with the most potential.
During the first day of the tournament, Jacqueline Sijore from Malaysia came out on top in the singles event. The 19-year-old beat O'Keefe and her team. Yet Team USA remains the favourite to win medals in upcoming events.
The finals for doubles, trios and teams of five will be held today, Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
For a schedule of upcoming matches in the tournament, visit www.wwc2011-hk.com/results/schedule.htm. If you are not able to watch matches live at the venue, you can visit www.ustream.tv/usbc for live and recorded broadcasts