It was so close yet so far for southpaws Alex Liew and Muhammad Nur Aiman when they had to settle for the silver medal in the Tenpin Bowling World Men Championship at the Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany this morning.
Victory ceremony....Aiman and Alex with national coach Holloway Cheah, and Team USA and Sweden with their coaches.Veteran bowler Alex, 34 and youngster Aiman who turns 22 on September 15, qualified for the semifinals as the second placed pair after the completion of qualifications rounds, with latter having achieved the proud record of being the first bowler in the championship to bowl over the 1400 mark in a six-game series. Aiman downed 1418 from lines of 188, 233, 252, 276, 277 and 193 for an average of 236.50.
Alex and Aiman lost to Swedes pair, Martin Paulsson and Mathias Årup, the top seed, 379-398.
Alex, on the other hand had a total of 1149 to give a combined total of 2568 to finish second behind the Swedes total of 2621.
In the other semifinals, Swedes defeated Team USA's Rhino Page and Patrick Allen 449-373.
Both Team USA and the Swedes picked up the bronze medals.
In the final this morning, up to 9th frame the Swedes trailed by a few pins, in a thrilling match. But the Swedes never gave up and turned the tables towards the end. Paulsson opened the door to the winning road with a double in the last frame. Årup then nailed the winning strike in 10th.
But it was Aiman's split which left a 4-6-7-10 split in the final frame that actually setup Arup to mark in the final frame for the title, and he delivered.
Paulsson led the Swedes in the gold-medal match with 221, while Arup shot 177. Aiman shot 192 for Malaysia, and Alex Liew had 187.
For Alex it is his second silver medal in the World Championship, having won his first in 2006 in Busan in the team event with team members Daniel Lim, Ben Heng, Azidi Ameran and Zulmazran.
A gold medal for Alex would have been a befitting reward for his dedicated services to the national team since 1994.
Maybe the elusive second gold medal might come from the trios, team event or even the All-events.
Infact, Aiman is the current leader in the All-Events with his two events total of 2666 (1247 - singles and 1419 - doubles).
The attention now shifts to the trios event, which begins with two days of three-game qualifying blocks on Tuesday.
The 2010 WTBA World Men's Championships features 356 competitors from 65 countries competing for medals in six events - five-player team, trios, doubles, singles, all-events and Masters match play.