Blake Walsh has won a SILVER medal at the 21st Asian Youth Championships Boy’s Masters Competition in Bangkok, Thailand.
Starting the day in 5th place after winning 7 of 8 games in the first of two blocks yesterday, Blake sat only 32 pins behind the bronze medal position. On day two, Blake had eight more games to move up the standings, with the top three set to compete in the Stepladder finals.
As day two began, it didn’t take long to see Blake was a determined man on a mission. Blake finished the second block winning six of his eight games, averaging an incredible 221.13 and collecting 60 bonus pins. Blake would surge up the standings to finish first place and guarantee himself a well-deserved medal for an outstanding campaign.
Winning more matches than anyone else in the event, Blake finished on a total of 3,553 pins in the Masters event collecting 130 bonus pins from 13 wins from his 16 games. Blake finished 81 pins ahead of second place Lee Myeongcheol from Korea and Artigal Barrientos from the Philippines, who was in third place.
It has been nearly two decades since an Australian bowler has claimed a medal in the Boy’s Asian Youth Masters, with the last achievement accomplished by Jason Belmonte in 2004, also winning silver.
Fast forward 19 years and another talented two-handed Australian bowler has arrived, and I doubt we have seen the last of him.
The Stepladder final began with Lee Myeongcheol from Korea facing Artigal Barrientos from the Philippines. The Philippines would win the battle, winning 205 to 191 to face Blake Walsh for the Gold medal.
The Stepladder gold medal matches would be two-game finals.
Initially scheduled for 7.30 pm, the Stepladder Gold medal matches would not begin until 9 pm. The boys would have to wait for the Girl’s stepladder to finish, adding to the anxious wait for Aussies back home but not making things easy for Blake, who had spent considerable time resting since the matchplay phase.
Finally beginning after 10:15 pm, Blake would lose game one 206-180 and head to the second and final game down 26 pins. In game two, with the famous Aussie, Aussie, Aussie war cry in the background, Blake tried his best to fight back.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough with Blake losing 237-169 in game two, providing a final score of 443-349. Blake would win a silver medal, capping off a fantastic debut Australian campaign.
Funnily enough, it’s not the first time a Walsh has won a Masters medal at an Asian Youth Championships. Blakes’s father, Cameron, won Bronze at the 8th Asian Youth Championships Masters event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In his first official Australian international event appearance, Blake Walsh has had an incredible debut campaign. Factoring in the fact he is still a junior division bowler makes it even more impressive and proves the future is bright for the Wonderkid from Ballina.
Blake’s Championship Scores
- Singles – 1,300
- Doubles – 1,208
- Teams – 1,208
- Total Pinfall – 3,716 (8th place in the All-Events)
- Block 1 of the Masters – 1,634 + 70 bonus = 1,704 (5th place)
- Block 2 of the Masters – 1,769 + 60 bonus = 1,829 (1st place)
- Masters Total – 3,533 (1st place)
- Masters StepLadder – Artigal Barrientos defeated Blake Walsh 206-180, 237-169 in a final score of 443-349.
Tenpin Bowling Australia wishes to congratulate Blake on his outstanding silver medal achievement. Everyone back home is very proud of you Blake!
📷Credit to abf-online.org and the Thai Bowling Federation for the pictures