Day to remember for local bowlers at Hong Kong International Bowls Classic
Dorothy Yu and Jordi Lo sweep women's and men's singles titles
On a glorious day under brilliant sunshine, Hong Kong bowlers shone like never before at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic on Sunday.
History was made in the women’s singles competition when Dorothy Yu Kin-shan swept to victory against Millicent Lai Siu-mei in an all-Hong Kong final, and Jordi Lo Tsz-yuen made it a day to remember, edging Irish debutant Andrew Duncan to win the men’s singles title at the Kowloon Bowling Green Club on Sunday.
Nobody had expected Hong Kong bowlers to dominate this year’s tournament, not least Lo, who became the first local in 21 years to clinch the coveted men’s title since Noel Kennedy achieved the honour in 1994.
Meanwhile, Yu had gone into the tournament with one goal in mind, and that was to become the first Hong Kong woman to win the singles tournament since it became part of the event in 2008.
“This is a world-class tournament and I am elated to have become the first Hong Kong woman to win it and to have two Hong Kong girls in the final is even better,” smiled 40-year-old Yu, who works for Hong Kong Bank as a project manager.
“It’s been an amazing tournament for me. This is my third Classic. I had a lot of support,” added the HK Lawn Bowls Association bowler, who lost in the second round last year.
Victory boosted Yu’s confidence ahead of next week’s “World Champion of Champions” tournament on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Yu was chosen to represent Hong Kong as last year’s national singles winner. Ironically, she lost to Seabird Sports Club representative Lai at the nationals this year at the quarter-final stage.
“I know Millicent well and we have played against other before. In fact, I lost to her at this year’s national championships in singles. I felt I really had control of the game. My pace was good. I wasn’t very steady in the second set but I came back in the tiebreaker as my confidence grew,” said Yu, who won 8-3, 4-10, 5-0.
“This is definitely a big boost before going to the Gold Coast for my tournament,” said the new champion, who earned the right to represent the city as the 2014 national singles winner.
Lo savoured his greatest triumph as the sun was setting for what was to become one of the biggest upsets in the 30-year history of the men’s tournament.
But the 30-year-old’s surprise victory was not completely out of the blue as he had won the national pair’s and fours titles this year. He had not gone further than the last 16 round in three or four previous Classic outings.
Lo, who works as a project manager for a construction company, edged Duncan with a come-from-behind 3-11, 9-3, 3-2.
And Lo had to do it the hard way, beating six overseas opponents for the title, including a dramatic semi-final win over last year’s title holder, Robert Grant, of Scotland.
“I didn’t meet even one local bowler in six rounds of competition. This makes it extra special. I did have a lot of practice at club level though,” said Lo.