SINGAPORE: If bowling does get included in the 2020 Olympic Games, national bowler Joey Yeo can claim to have played a small, but significant, role in it.
On Sunday (Jul 12), the 17-year-old clinched the women’s singles title at the inaugural Bowling World Open, where she beat Germany’s Birgit Poppler 207-204 at the Makuhari Messe Exhibition Hall just outside the Japanese capital. The event is part of the sport’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The win also saw the Singaporean pick up ¥10 million (S$110,000), her largest prize to date.
The 17-year-old displaying her medal and prize money. (Photo: Singapore Bowling Federation)
“I am still a little overwhelmed. The feeling is surreal and it is still sinking in,” said Yeo in a phone interview with TODAY.
“This is a pioneer competition and I am grateful to be a part of it. It has given me a huge confidence booster. This competition proved to organisers that bowling is worthy of being exhibited in the Olympics and shows the world that the sport is progressing.”
The win was Yeo’s biggest since clinching the women’s trios gold medal at the 23rd Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships in January this year with Geraldine Ng and New Hui Fen. Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua described the teenager’s performance as “awesome”.
“That word sums it all up,” said Phua from Tokyo. “For a 17-year-old to step up to (such) a huge stage and still manage to keep her cool and execute one flawless shot after another is awesome.”
Finland’s Osku Palermaa won the men’s title after a 266-256 win over Japan’s Isao…