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National Youth Cup Preview

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Australian Youth Championship has once again attracted the best up and coming bowlers from around the country and overseas in its 14th year.

The National Youth Cup begins on Saturday and a strong field will assemble but who will be the bowlers to look out for this weekend?

New South Welshman Jayden Panella was the 2015 National Youth Cup runner up, and will be one of the favourites for the title.  Panella had an impressive 2015 finishing 2nd in the national junior rankings and 3rd in the national youth rankings.  Panella topped off 2015 being included in the 2016 National Training Squad (NTS).

But could it be Michael Murray who won the Werribee Youth Cup at Wyncity in 2015? Murray represented Australia at the Asian Youth Championships in 2015 and is a member of the NTS in 2016 and would be looking to have a strong start to 2016.

Queenslander Blayne Fletcher is another bowler who had an impressive 2015 and has experience at this event finishing 5th in 2015.  In 2015, Fletcher won the Australian Junior Masters title and Sydney Youth Cup and had the honour of representing Australian at the Asian Schools Championships and selection in the 2016 NTS.  But another Queenslander to watch is Jayden Leming.  Leming finished 3rd in this event in 2015 and the 2016 NTS squad member will be hoping his two-handed style will pay off at Wyncity.

You can never rule out the locals with the advantage of the home town support. Elliott Batiste missed the finals in this event in 2015 but finished 1st in the national junior rankings and 2nd in the national youth rankings after winning the South Australia Youth Masters in 2015.  But he will face some strong competition from fellow Victorian Sam Curry.  Curry qualified for the matchplay finals in this event in 2015 and finished 5th in the national youth rankings and will be a member of the 2016 NTS.

Another bowler who could take home the title this weekend is Western Australian Adam Svensson. When Svensson gets the opportunity to compete at this level he always impressive.  Other bowlers that will be in contention are Jarrod Langford, Sean Bowling, Nicholas Flannary, Mitchell Brown and Jake Otago.

However, the Australian bowlers will face strong competition from the overseas bowlers.  Singaporeís bowlers are always tough to beat and Singaporean Han Oh will be one the Australianís will want to keep an eye on.  Han Oh who performed well at last yearís Milo International and Jarred Lim competed in this event in 2015.  Another overseas bowler that will be a contender this weekend is New Zealandís number 1 ranked youth bowler Josh Stretton.

In the girls division, it could be an all Victorian affair. Nicola McColl finished 3rd in this event in 2015 and finished 3rd in the 2015 youth rankings and gained selection in the 2016 NTS. But donít forget to keep an eye on Rebekah Commane.  2015 was an outstanding year for the Wyncity bowler finishing 1st in the national junior and youth rankings and also represented Australia at the Asian Schools Championships and gained selection in the NTS.

But Commane will face strong competition from fellow Victorian Emily Rigney. Rigney will take plenty of confidence into 2016 after winning a silver medal in the Masters and a bronze in the doubles at the 2015 Asian Youth Championships.  Rigney will be looking to gain some good form in the event before she takes up her scholarship at Vanderbilt University in the US later in the year.

But could it be the other Victorians who take the title?  Emily Cross and Carly Giordmaina will be a strong chance to end up on the podium on Sunday evening. Giordmaina finished 2nd last year in this event and 4th in the 2014 youth rankings and won the Werribee Youth Cup at Wyncity in 2015.  Cross finished 7th in the youth rankings in 2015 and gained selection in the NTS for 2016.

However, Queenslander Maddy Kemp will give the Victorians some strong competition. Kemp finished 2nd in the national youth rankings in 2015.  Kemp won the Sydney Youth Cup and the SA Masters in 2015 and finished off a great year gaining selection in the NTS.  Kemp will be one of the favourites this weekend.

Other bowlers to keep an eye on are Australian Representatives Chloe Wilson and Emma Williamson.  Wilson finished the year with a win at the Sharp Champion of Champions and gained selection in the NTS. Williamson also gained selection in the NTS and placed 3rd in the junior rankings.

But when you look through the field you cannot overlook Abby Heidemann, Alexia Hicks, Janet Hunt, and Gena Ott who will take plenty of experience into the weekend.

As per the boys field, the Singaporeans will be strong.  Amabel Chua finished 4th in this event last year and bowled a 299 on the Wyncity lanes.  Chua is back again and fellow teammate Charmaine Change who won a bronze medal in the doubles at the 2015 Asian Schools Championships will be ones to watch come Sunday afternoon.

However, with over 120 bowlers in the field it could be anyone who takes home the first ranked event in 2016.  Who will it be?

To keep up to date with the live results keep an eye on Tenpin Results, www.tenpin.org.au and TBAís Facebook and Twitter pages.  The official hashtag for the tournament will #AUSYC16

Or why not check out all the live action at Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, 36 Wallace Avenue, Point Cook, Melbourne.