HONG KONG—Twenty-five years old Jason Choi and Angle So rounded up their youthhood with the final piece of trophies they can attain at this age, the Under-25 singles.
Both Choi and So are products of the Hong Kong Youth Team and have represented Hong Kong at international level. They have never won this competition before, despite finishing runners-up on a few occasions.
This year a total of 35 boys and 21 girls participated in the annual singles tournament specially designed for bowlers under the age of 25. The competition started with a round-robin at Siu Lek Yuen Sports Ground, with the winners progressing to the knock-out stage at Kowloon Cricket Club last Sunday, Dec 3.
Choi, who finished the roundrobin stage as one of the Second-Best to qualify for the knockout stage. He overcame a number of strong players including the 2015 champion Adrian Yau en route to the final against Hong Kong Youth Team teammate Manno Tsang.
The final started evenly but it was Choi who always maintained the upper hand. The lead was extended to 10:4 after the 13th end but the lead was cut to 12:11 after Tsang scored three in the 19th end.
“At that time the situation was very tight as Tsang was coming from behind strongly, I need to maintain my composure to hold on my lead,” Choi recalled the difficulties he faced at that moment. He stayed calm and took three shots in the following end, partly due to an unlucky Tsang who pushed the jack to Choi’s bowls.
Choi went on to win the game 16:14 and was very happy to win at his last chance to compete in the tournament, “This title completed my era at the Youth Team and now I can leave the Youth Team with no regret. I have played in the competition for nine times and never got that far. Today my performance was very stable and this was maintained up to the final. I think that was the reason I won it.
“This is a perfect memory for an end to my Youth Team experience,” said an emotional Choi.
So faced Choi’s sister Amy in the women’s final, which was quite a one-sided match. So took three shots in the first two ends to set the tone and she cruised to a convincing victory of 17:6.
Same as Choi, So was playing her last U25 competition due to reaching the age limit. She was jubilant after the victory, “I have joined this competition for seven times and lost in the final three times. Today I think it was my determination that brought me the success because this will be my last chance to win it. The title marked a perfect graduation to my youthhood.”
Both Choi and So were looking forward to their final participation in the World Youth Championship in Broadbeach, Australia, next February. They will be training hard to try to achieve some results at the event.
This week in Lawn Bowls
On Saturday Dec 9 starting at 2.30pm at all greens in Hong Kong will be the Triples League (Men’s Division 9-11), and on Sunday Dec 10 starting at 9am the Women’s Knock-out Singles will take place with qualifier matches at CdeR, KCC, HKFC, VP. Later competition stages will be played at Club de Recreio.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association..