Friday, May 22, 2015

Bowling: it will be a long shot for another seven gold

PETALING JAYA: Striking seven golds in bowling at the SEA Games won’t come easy.
Not even if Malaysia’s bowlers had won seven gold medals twice – in 1999 in Brunei and in Kuala Lumpur two years later.

But the game has evolved.

National coach Holloway Cheah said: “Sid Allen achieved that feat in 1999 with the spinners. I managed to emulate that result with the hook bowlers in 2001.

“But seven is not easy anymore.”

In 1999, Shalin Zulkifli led Malaysia to their first haul of seven golds. Shalin won the women’s All-Events, Masters and women’s doubles with Low Poh Lian before going on to win the women’s trios title with Poh Lian and Sarah Yap and the team event.

Mustafa Yassin, Ng Yiew Hup, Pang Boon Say won the men’s trios and team golds.
In 2001, Shalin was at the fore again winning the women’s singles, All-Events and women’s trios with Sarah and Lai Kin Ngoh as well as the team event. Kin Ngoh also won the women’s Masters. Ben Heng won the gold in the men’s singles and combined with Alex Liew for the men’s doubles title.

The closest Malaysia have come to those two feats was bagging five golds in Palembang four years ago.

Adrian Ang claimed the men’s All-Events, Masters titles and men’s doubles with Alex Liew. The duo then linked up with Zulmazran Zulkifli to win the men’s trios and team events.
“Shalin was winning everything at that time. But bowlers in the region have since upped their game,” said Holloway

“Thailand have a very strong men’s team. Indonesia are very well prepared ... since 2011, actually.
“As for Singapore, you don’t know what they are capable of on home ground.

“But I believe that record of seven golds will stand for a long, long time. It’s not going to be easy for any country to try and repeat that.”

by Ashreena Pillai - The Star

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