HONG KONG—Well decorated Hong Kong international Angela Chau from the United Service Recreation Club became the first women to win five National Knock-out Singles titles last Sunday Jan 6, 2015.
Chau, who has won more than 20 national titles in her 28 years of bowling career, set the record in style when she became the first player since 2002 to successfully defend the title. She won the trophy in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2013.
Chau won five games before reaching the final against her Hong Kong team team-mate Sanlia Wong from the Filipino Club. “I know Wong is a very good player and can play some highly aggressive shots,” said Chau, “So when I knew that she is my opponent in the final I started to consider what kind of tactic and which length of the game to play.”
The final was a tight affair as both players demonstrated high level of skill throughout with a lot of ends settled by the last bowl. Chau began the final with a toucher and took two shots from the first end.
The score was quickly opened up to 8:2,but Wong came back suddenly with five shots in two ends. “After winning these two ends she delivered a long head,” said Chau, “But I found that such distance even suit me better.”
Chau took advantage of the change of distance and took two shots from the following end and restore the lead to 10:7. From the 12th end onwards each player won an end alternatively, but it was Chau who cross the finishing line first, at the score of 17:12.
“This trophy means a lot to me,” said a jubilant Chau, “I won the first Knock-out Singles title 15 years ago and never successfully defended it before. Nowadays it is getting more difficult to win this trophy, not to mention defending it. So I just cannot describe how happy I am to win it two years in a row.”
Losing her first final at the Knock-out Singles, a disappointed Wong believed that it was her weight control that let her down: “In the last game the pace of the green was a bit different from the previous matches and my adjustment was not fine enough to cope with it. Maybe because I was tired, my concentration also dropped so the better performer won the game.”
The National Knock-out Singles has a tradition of playing all games within one day, representing a tough test on physical fitness, mental toughness and stamina of the competitors. This year the 83 competitors were played at five different venues throughout Hong Kong. The competition finished at 9:00 in the evening.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.