BIGGER PRIZE PURSUE ATTRACTION
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
The 35th Canon Malaysian International Open 2012 with a bigger prize has drawn big names and is expected to be one of the best in recent years.
At a Press Conference on Wednesday at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) president, Datoâ€™ Dr P. S. Nathan, announced details of the championship, where sponsors were also present to handover the mock cheques. The championship will be held from May 4th to May 12 at the Sunway Pyramid Megalanes.
â€œThis edition of the championship with the increased prize money which is about 55 percent more than previous years, has certainly attracted top world class bowlers and expected to be a keenly contested championship,â€ said Datoâ€™ Dr Nathan.
â€œBut we have to thank our sponsors for their support for us being able to increase the prize money and make this championship more attractive,â€ he added.
The sponsors besides Canon are Astro, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Century Logistics Holdings Berhad, Nestle Products Sdn Bhd, Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd , Sunway Mega Lanes and Gatorade (Permanis Sdn Bhd).
The increase in the total prize for this year from the previous RM219,150.00 to RM366,050.00 â€“ a whopping RM146,900 increase!
The substantial increase in prize-money will see the Men and Womenâ€™s Open total prize money increased from RM102,000 to RM197,000 (an increase of RM95,000) for the Menâ€™s category, and from RM46,500 to RM76,000 (an increase of RM29,500) for the womenâ€™s category.
The increase will see the Menâ€™s champion prize winning RM40,000 as compared to the previous yearâ€™s RM35,000, the runners-up RM25,000 from RM17,000, the third placed from RM20,000 from RM7,000 and fourth placed RM15,000 from RM7,000.
There will also be increases of prize money for all positions to the 24th where the minimum payout with be RM3,000.
While the Womenâ€™s Open top prize remain unchanged at RM15,000, the runners-up winner will win an increased prize money of RM10,000 instead of RM7,500 paid-out last year, the third placed will win RM7,500 instead of RM4,000. There is also a prize increase in all final positions for the top 16, with the minimum payout being RM2,000.
There is also increase in prize-money in the Boysâ€™ Youth category where the top three placed will see an increase of an additional RM1,000 to last yearâ€™s RM4,000, RM2,000 and RM 1,000 respectively.
While the Girls Open top prize remained unchanged at RM3,000, there will be increases in all other positions and prize money will be awarded to the top nine instead of eight in both Boys and Girls category for a total prize money of RM15,000 and RM9,600 respectively as compared to RM10,500 and RM7,200 last year.
Among the notable names competing this year include World Tour champion Mika Koivuniemi of Finland and Sean Rash of the United States.
Mika Koivuniemi is also last yearâ€™s Tournament of Champions held in Las Vegas and winners of nine PBA Tour titles including the 2000 USBC Masters and 2001 US Open champion. Other notable names include USâ€™s Sean Rash, Parker Bohn 11, Ryan Ciminelli and Dino Castillo.
Among the top women bowlers include Singaporeâ€™s Cherie Tan who recently won the WTBA World Tour leg in the DHC Japan and 2010 Asian Games trios gold medallist, Shayna Ng another member of the Asian Games trios gold medallist and Commonwealth Championship singles gold medallist, Jazreel Tan the 2009 Malaysian Open champion, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan and the third member of the Asian Games trios gold medallist, Gerladine Ng, Indonesiaâ€™s Tannya Roumimper and Putty Armien to name a few.
The Malaysian team will be led by defending champions Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakim and Muhd Nur Aiman. Will the duo be able to defend their title? Only one women bowler â€“ Anneimiek Boogaart from Holland who achieved it in 1992 and 1993 and three men including our very own Zulmazran Zuliklfi has achieved the feat. Zulmazran won it back to back in 2008 and 2009, while the first to achieve it was Mats Karlsson from Sweden (who was our national coach for a brief spell in early 2000s) who won it in 1982 and 1983 and followed by Y.C. Ma from Chinese Taipei in 1986 and 1987. It would indeed be great to see either Zandra or Aiman or both achieve the feat.
Other Malaysian bowlers competing include current World Championship womenâ€™s singles gold medallist Jacqueline Sijore, former world champions Esther Cheah, Shalin Zulkifli, Wendy Chai and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman.
Zandra, along with Jacqueline and Syafiq Ridhwan Malek, left for Munich yesterday to compete in the Track Dream Bowl Palace Championships and European Masters where the trio will use both events to build their confidence ahead of the Malaysian Open.
They are the first Malaysians to compete in the Masters, which features last year's top-16 men's and women's bowlers in Europe.
San Marino champion Alex Liew and also Asian Games doubles gold medalists together with Adrian Ang, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Aaron Kong, newly crowned national champion, Isaac Russel Paul and rising star Aris Ardilla among the locals expected to make an impression at the championship.
But with a tough field and world-class bowlers competing, it is going to be battle stations from the word go. One thing assured though, bowling enthusiasts are indeed going to see some world class bowling for the duration of the competition.
Another attraction at the end of the Malaysian Open, is the Canon Cup which was introduced in 2007 and this year the format will see a change to see four teams competing instead of two.
Previously it was Malaysia versus the Rest of the World where the top three Men and top two Women bowlers based on the finishing positions in the Malaysian Open Masters make the teams respectively.
This year we will have a separate category for Men and Women, where the two nominated bowlers and the top three based on finishing positions in the Malaysian Open Masters will make up the team of five for men and women respectively for the Malaysian and Rest of the World. A one game team match play format will be used.
A total of RM60,000 prize money will be awarded with the winners of each category winning RM20,000 and the losing team taking home RM10,000.
This event will be held in Sunday, May 13 and will be telecast live by Astro Arena.
Malaysia never fails to mesmerise our visitors with its hospitality, excellent accommodation, fascinating places to visit, the galore of food and above all being a very safe place to visit. Together with a world-class championship to compete in, it has been a perfect destination for top class bowlers from all over the world.
So be it a foreign or local bowler, the 35th edition of the Canon Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship certainly promises to draw the best of bowlers for a highly competitive week of competition.
On the possibility of turning the Malaysian International Open championship into a World Tour event, Nathan said the tour was only a sales gimmick.
"I do not see a benefit tying-up our event with the tour as we need to pay a fee to get the sanctioning. Furthermore, we need to offer at least US$100,000 (RM300,000) in prize money," he added.
The tour was introduced last year by the World Tenpin Bowling Association.
Reported by Tony Mariadass