Success for Australia at the Merdeka International
The Asia Pacific Indoor Championships in Malaysia has been a highly successful event for the Australian contingent claiming one gold, one silver and one bronze over the seven days of play.
St Johns Parks’ Ben Twist topped off a stellar week capturing his second international gold medal in the men’s singles to go with his 2011 World U’25 singles title.
Twist finished the event like he started with a convincing win over Malaysia’s rising star MD, Syamil Syazwan Ramli 21-7.
Twist was lethal from the first end leading 10-1 after just six ends and his form continued as he piled on another seven shots in the following six ends to lead 17-3.
Twist never looked in danger all match and had Australian coach Brett Wilkie singing his praises.
“Ben played superb bowls from start to finish, not only drawing extremely well but he converted with precision weight when he was down including his match winning last bowl,” Wilkie said.
Current Australian Open singles and fours champion Anne Johns has added another Merdeka International medal to her trophy cabinet claiming silver in the women’s singles, going down narrowly against the two time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Siti Zalina Ahmad of Malaysia.
Johns was threatening early scoring two full count’s, however two scores of three to Ahmad saw the experienced Malaysian keep within striking distance, trailing Johns 11-12.
Within two ends Ahmad had squared the match and won the next four ends to lead Johns 17-13.
At this stage of the match the time limit was a concern for Johns who knew there was only 10 minutes left on the clock.
Johns scored two on the next end which left her with the predicament that she must score two on the next end as it would be the last of the match.
With what became the final bowl of the game, Johns missed by millimetres of trailing the jack to tie the match as the bell sounded; the final score 15-18 in favour of Ahmad.
Kristy Thatcher (Tweed Heads) and Andrew Howie (Mount Lewis) today added to the medal haul with a victory over New Zealand in the mixed pairs bronze medal playoff.
With maiden international medals on the line for both teams, it was the Aussie’s that were in cruise control leading the match 12-3.
After gaining that early break Thatcher and Howie maintained the pressure with a good combination of attack and defence, picking up multiple counts and reducing the kiwi’s to only single shots.
They went on to win the match 18-9 and joined their Australian team mates on the dais.
DAY 7 RESULTS
Men’s Singles Final: Ben Twist (AUS) def MD, Syamil Syazwan Ramli (MAS D) 21-7
Women’s Singles Final: Anne Johns (AUS) def by Siti Zalina Ahmad (MAS A) 15-18
Mixed Pairs Bronze Playoff: K Thatcher & A Howie (AUS) def T Bruce & R Wilson (NZ) 18-9