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Thai takes over lead in Asian Ranking

12th July, Hong Kong: ABF Tour Philippines leg champion, Surasak Manuwong of Thailand, took over the lead in the 2006 Asian Ranking standings after finishing second at the 4th Vietnam International Open just concluded last weekend.

Zulmazran Zulkifli, who skipped the three championships due to his preparations for the all-important World Youth Championship in Germany, dropped to second with 286 ahead of last year's number 1 and Malaysian International Open champion, Alex Liew who is third with 199.

Jason Belmonte of Australia (4th-186), Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong (5th-183), Mubarak Al-Muraikhi of Qatar (6th-169), Khaled Al-Dubyan of Kuwait (7th-158) and Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand (8th-150) made up the currrent top 8.

In the women's division, Choy Poh Lai leads a Malaysia 1-2-3 finish after a good outing at the 3rd Commonwealth Championship just ended in Melbourne. The 27-year-old, who has yet to break the ice with an international title and to qualify for the World Ranking Masters topped the ranking with 280 points.

Surasak taking over the lead

2005 ABF Tour TOC champion, Wendy Chai trailed by just 6 points in second with 274, both ahead of three-time Asian Ranked No. 1, Shalin Zulkifli in third with 171, despite winning the rare double - Thailand International Open Masters title and the ABF Tour Thailand leg, the 3rd Kuwait International Open crown and the ABF Tour Philippines leg.

Capturing the 4th Vietnam International Open title gave the 34-year-old Kim Eun-Jung the 50 points to move her up the standings to fourth with 171 while World Ranking Masters runner-up, Putty Armein of Indonesia took fifth spot with 161.

Malaysia's Zandra Aziela finished sixth with 154 followed by Korea's Kang Hyun-Jin and triple Gold medalist in the 3rd Commomwealth Championship, Ann-Maree Putney tieing in seventh position with 150 points each.

Putty Armein fifth in the rankings

With three major championships - 19th Asian Championship in Jakarta, Men's World Championship in Korea and the 15th Asian Games in Qatar - scheduled for August, September and December respectively, a good showing by any of the top 16 in the standings, would alter the ranking substantially.

Current Standings: Men's Top 30 | Women's Top 30.

Photos courtesy of MTBC.

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