Seventeen-year-old Zach Sales Ramin ruled the 53rd Singapore International Open on Saturday, making history as the first Filipino to rule the prestigious tournament.
The son of Filipino migrant workers in Singapore defeated Thailand’s Yannaphon Larpapharat to prevail in front of his parents Rudi and Grace, and bowling legend and sports commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking of winning. I just focused on the process of throwing my best shot,” Ramin said.
He rolled lines of 183, 229-212 in the gold medal duel, besting Larpapharat, the former Asian Games champion. Before that, he assembled eight games total of 1852 pinfalls behind the Thai’s 1885.
‘This is my first international masters victory. Moving forward, I just want to be able to do well for the Philippines in future meets and bring more honor for our country.’
Now a member of the national youth team, he made the semifinals by pulling the rug from under defending champion Kim Bolleby of Sweden (208-199).
“This is my first international masters victory. Moving forward, I just want to be able to do well for the Philippines in future meets and bring more honor for our country,” Ramin said.
A grade 12 student from Anglo Chinese School Independent in Singapore, Ramin started playing at age 9, enrolling for bowling lessons after taking interest in the sport during a family holiday in Japan.
“I have started to go back to Manila more often since I got into the national youth team last year,” Ramin said. He will next see action next month in the Asian Youth Championships in Thailand.
Only three Filipinos won Singapore International Open including Coo who bagged it in 1972 and 1973. Cecile Yap and Liza Del Rosario captured the women’s title in 2000 and 2004.