Dubai: UAE bowlers made it into the final stages in the Open division of the inaugural Dubai International Bowling Tournament at the end of qualifying at the Dubai Bowling Centre on Tuesday.
Keeping up the pressure on leader Wu Siu Hong was Asian Indoor Games triple gold medallist Naif Oqab in second place, while teammate and two-time Asian Indoor Games gold medallist Hussain Al Suwaidi was in third.
The 29-year-old Oqab had a nine-game aggregate of 2,156 for an average of 239.6, to keep up the pressure on 2009 Asian No 1 and 2009 East Asian Games silver medallist Hong of Hong Kong, who had claimed the Day 10 highest series award with 763 en route to taking pole position in the qualifying leaderboard with 2,167.
Al Suwaidi had an aggregate of 2,133 for an average of 237.0, having won three high-series thus far in the competition.
But matching the UAE youngster and Masters' finalist at the 15th Asian Youth Championship in Kuwait last month was Finland's Osku Palermaa, who rolled the day's highest series of 772 to match the 237 average and occupy fourth position.
Bahrain's Yousuf Falah and Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang were in fifth and sixth, while another UAE youngster, Mahmoud Al Attar, was in seventh. Canada's Mark Buffa made a late charge on Tuesday night to take the eighth and final spot among those who advanced as direct entrants into the third round.
Under tournament rules, players occupying positions nine to 18 will have to battle it out in the Round 2 finals taking place today. They will be joined by another six local qualifiers from positions 19 to 24.
Contesting in this cluster will be seven UAE nationals, including Adel Al Marzooki, Saeed Ebrahim Al Hashemi and 2009 Singapore Open champion and UAE skipper Shaker Ali Hassan, along with teammates Ebrahim Buhair, Mohammad Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Saeed Obaid and Fuad Al Maas.
The 16 finalists in Round 2 will play eight games, during which the field will be halved. They will then be joined by the top eight qualifiers for another eight games in the Round 3 finals tomorrow. The top eight finishers will then advance into Round 4.