Tan ends long drought for Pinoy bowlers
MANILA, Philippines — Merwin Tan ended the country’s seven-year gold medal drought in the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships over the weekend by topping the boys’ singles event at the Megalanes Sarawak, Batu Kawa, Kuching City in Malaysia.
Tan, 19, won the gold by hitting 1,352 pinfalls in six rounds to outclass Australia’s William Clark’s 1,334 and South Korea’s Park Sang-Hyeok’s 1,326 in the tournament participated in by 40 boys and 36 girls from all over the Asian region.
“I just did my best in every game, every frame and every shot. I really needed to score at least a 200 in the last game and I’m really happy I was able to do just that,” said Tan, who is playing his last Asian Youth Championship. “This gold medal is a blessing for me especially that I’m playing my last year here.”
The last time the Philippine youth team won a gold medal in the Asian Youth was in 2012 when Alexis Sy snatched the gold medal in girls’ Masters event in Egypt.
Tan, who just finished his K-12 study in Marist school, was also a member of the team that won a bronze in the boys’ team event in the 2018 World Youth Championship in Detroit, Michigan, USA, the first medal after almost 26 years since the country last won a medal.
Besides the boys’ singles event, Tan will also play in the boys’ doubles, team and possibly in the Masters events.
National teammate Kenzo Umali placed 10th in the boys’ singles with 1,261 pinfalls while Alyssa Ty ended 18th among the girls’ singles participants with 1,092 pinfalls.
The other members of the Philippine junior team are Umali, Patrick Nuqui and Kayle Abad for the boys and Bea Hernandez, Norel Nuevo and Grace Gella for the girls.
Gella recently won the bronze medal in the girls’ singles event while Nuevo settled for bronze in the Masters event in last month’s inaugural World Junior’s Championship held in France. Hernandez, who studies in the United States, was recently named Southland’s newcomer of the year and the national rookie of the year for bowling by the US NCAA.