Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bowling: Keglers can't wait to hit the lanes

NATIONAL coach Holloway Cheah is confident his keglers will not disappoint as tenpin bowling returns to the Sea Games at Malaysia's happy hunting ground -- the Jaya Ancol Centre in Jakarta.

The venue has witnessed Malaysia winning 12 "Open" titles, including Wendy Chai's historic triumph at the World Ranking Masters, and Holloway hopes the "feel good" factor will help his team as they bid to regain their Sea Games overall title.

Bowling is being featured at the Games for the first time since 2007 in Korat where Malaysia were the overall champions with a haul of four gold, three silver and six bronze medals.

"I have many pleasant memories as our team achieved many firsts at this centre. The most memorable was seeing Wendy winning the country's first ever World Ranking Masters title three years ago," said Holloway.
"We have also dominated the Indonesia Open with Alex Liew winning it three times.

"Even Zulmazran (Zulkifli) and Zatil Iman (Abdul Ghani) have won titles at this venue.

"I believe this feel good factor will inspire the bowlers to try harder and win medals.

"We have set a three-gold medal target but I am certain my well-prepared team will return with more."

Newly crowned world champion Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore will lead the women's squad, also comprising former Asian Games gold medallist Esther Cheah, reigning national champion Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, former world youth champion Sharon Koh, Zatil Iman and Sin Li Jane.

The men's team comprise San Marino Open winner Alex, former Ankara Open champion Adrian Ang, two-time Malaysian Open winner Zulmazran Zulkifli, former national champion Aaron Kong, Muhd Nur Aiman and Syafiq Ridhwan.

When asked about Malaysia's target, Holloway said the men had a better chance of winning gold.

"Alex and his teammates have been exceptional since last year. I don't see any other country doing better than Malaysia, but of course anything can happen in bowling."

On the women, the coach said they will face a difficult task against Singapore and Indonesia.

"The contest will be keener in the women's section as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are of about the same level.

"Besides that, the Philippines are also strong contenders," he said.

Former world champion Jasmine Nathan Yeong leads Singapore's women's team while Indonesia have named a strong side, including 2007 Korat Sea Games gold medallist Sharon Limansantoso and Putty Armein.

The national team left for Jakarta yesterday for a week-long practice before the six-day tournament proper starts on Nov 15.

Read more: NST

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