Kuwait dominates 9th GCC Bowling Championship By Miguel Carlos



    Republished courtesy of Arab Times - Kuwait (Nov. 3, 2008)

    2008GCCLogo.jpg By clinching 4 gold medals out of the six at stake, Kuwait easily ruled the 9th GCC Championship 2008 (complete results) to lift the overall championship trophy of the tenpin bowling event held at the COZMO Bowling Center in Salmiya.

    Emerging as shining stars for the host country after dishing out equally impressive performance were youthful Jassem Darwish, who garnered 3 gold medals, and the World Championship bronze medalist Basil Al-Anzi, who collected 2 gold medals.

    At the onset of the week long event sanctioned by the Asian Bowling Federation and organized by the Kuwait Bowling Federation, host country Kuwait gave their rivals from Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hint that they are out to dominate the games as they came up with an explosive opening day performance in the Singles.

    After trailing his more seasoned opponents in early going of 6-game series event, Jassem Darwish (1,416) closed out with a 226 in game six to clinch his first gold over Basil Al-Anzi (1,381) who settled for the silver. Completing the medal sweep for Kuwait in the Singles Event was bronze medalist Khalid Al Dubbayan (1,354).

    The second day of pin busting hostilities however took a different turn as the delegation from Bahrain and Qatar finally found their targets in the Doubles to upstage their opening day tournament Kuwait.

    A near perfect 299 from Ahmed Al-Bastaki and a 190 from Osama Khalfan gave the Bahrainis a 66 pin advantage over teammates Sami Noor and Yusif Falah. UAE's Saeed Obaid and Hussain Al Suwaidi moved up to second in the next game while cutting the lead of Osam and Ahmed.

    Bowling true to form in games 3 and 4, the tandem of Yusif Falah and Sami Noor went on to give Bahrain the gold by posting a final score of 2,613. Saeed Obaid and Hussain Al Suwaidi with 2,562 pocketed the silver followed by Bahrain's pair of Osama Khalfan and Ahmed Al-Bastaki who grabbed the bronze with 2,543 pin falls.

    After being denied a medal in the Doubles, Kuwait sent out a strong signal that they were back in business with yet another dominating performance in the Trios. In the first 3-game block, Kuwait's trio of Basil Al-Anzi, Jassem Darwish and Khalid Al-Dubbayan put the outcome of the event beyond doubt by compiling a 16-mark lead over the Qatari trio of Abdullah Al-Qattan, Abdullah Al-Jassiman and Saeed Al-Hajri.

    With Basil who carded an 812 in the second block in complete control of his game Jassem and Khalid merely coasted along to hand Kuwait its second gold through their combined score of 4,036 pin falls. The silver went to Qatar (3,784) courtesy of Al-Qattan, Al-Hajri and Al-Jassiman while the Trios bronze was taken by Kuwait's Ali Khalid, Mohammad Khalid and Mohammad Rajeeba who submitted 3,703 pin falls.

    The fourth day of Competition featured the most anticipated event of the Championship, the Team Event. Showing superb team spirit and rapport, Qatar with Al-Qattan, Al-Hajri and Al-Jasaiman, Al-Awami and Al-Emadi in the lineup amassed an 3,265-3,158 edge in the short oil first 3-game block over the Kuwaiti quintet of Al- Anzi, Al-Dubayyan, Darwish, Khalid and Rajeeba with the UAE five some of Al-Suwaidi, Al-Attar, Belkedaida, Al-Hassan and Al-Abadla a close third with 3,117 pin falls.

    In the second block on long oil pattern, UAE and Kuwait slowly inched closer to the pace setting Qataris. In the sixth and final game of the event, Kuwait mounted a strong rally that brought the outcome of the match down to the last frame where an open frame can spell a big difference.

    With the gold medal in the balance, Qatar's Saeed Al-Hajri needed to strike out on the tenth frame and to the delight of his team mates, Saeed knocked down two strikes and a 9-pin count on his last ball to seal the victory by just two pins. Qatar booked its first gold through a total score of 6,190 to Kuwait's 6,188 with UAE finishing third with 6,103 pin falls.

    After 4 events, Jassem Darwish of Kuwait bagged this third gold by emerging on top of the All Events with 5,307 pin falls just 16 pin falls ahead of his compatriot Basil Al-Anzi with 5,291 followed by Abdullah Al-Qattan of Qatar with 5,235.

    The other bowlers who qualified for the Masters by finishing in the Top 8 of the All Events were Sami Noor (BAH), Saeed Obaid Belkedaida (UAE), Khalid Al-Dubayyan (KUW), Yusif Falah (UAE) and Naif Oqab Al-Abadla (UAE).

    Going to the Masters, Al-Anzi, Al-Qattan, Darwish and Belkedaida defeated their respective opponents to advance to the semifinals. After Al-Anzi moved on to the finals by stopping Al-Qattan 192-172 and 221-205, Darwish made it an all Kuwait final by eliminating Belkedaida 192-152 and 231-165.

    In the finals, Basil with experience on his side took the Masters title by beating the promising Jassem in two straight games 195-173 and 279-194. Kuwait with a total of 10 medals comprising of 4 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronze was declared as the overall champion of the 9th GCC Championship.