IT’S MILESTONE after milestone for Jason Belmonte but this time his achievements have culminated in a number one national youth ranking for 2001.
The latest statistics collected from national tournaments over the past 12 months place Belmonte, 18, at number one in the top 100 on 269 points, ahead of multiple Australian representative Michael Little on 268.
Overjoyed at the achievement, Belmonte said what makes the result so satisfying is he competed in only seven of the 11 national events while Little, a bowler who commands much respect in bowling circles, competed in all.
“It feels pretty good and I didn’t think I’d do it. I’m stoked,” Belmonte said of the under 23 ranking.
“Considering he bowls more tournaments than I do it makes it even better. I call him a machine, he’s just a legend of the game.
“He’s the sort of player that if he needs a 300 perfect game to qualify for the next round of a tournament he’ll do it, and I’ve seen him do it,” he added.
Points are tallied from results at the 11 tournaments throughout the year, but other commitments including bowling for the Australian under 23 youth team at the World Asian Bowling Federation Junior Championship in Dubai prevented Belmonte from bowling in all 11. He earned top five placings in the seven events bar the Australian Open (12th). His other results were Canberra Open (fifth), NSW Open (fifth), South Pacific Classic (fifth), Junior Sydney Cup (second), Australian Nationals (first) and most recently a fourth at the Brunswick Cup on December 3 at Canberra.
While dissatisfied with the result at the Brunswick Cup, Belmonte is already looking to bettering his achievements next year.
“The conditions were not that easy at Canberra, and I started slow and finished big,’’ he said.
“My next goal is to crack some more medals at the next World Asian Bowling Federation under 23 tournament in Hong Kong, and to make some more money.’’