National bowler Timmy Tan shouts after making a strike in the team-of-five event at the Singapore SEA Games last week. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: National chief coach Holloway Cheah loves fighters.
Armed with a never-say-die attitude, Holloway’s charges delivered five golds, one silver and four bronzes at the Singapore SEA Games.
“This is one of our best performances, but it could have been better,” said Holloway, referring to Rafiq Ismail’s defeat in the men’s Masters finals on Sunday.
“They’ve done the best. Five golds – that’s a very good achievement, it’s our second highest after the seven golds in Brunei in 1999 and Kuala Lumpur in 2001,” he added.
Youngster Rafiq was the star of the team, contributing three golds and a silver. The 18-year-old won the men’s singles, trios and team of five and finished second in the Masters.
The other two golds came through Esther Cheah and Sin Li Jane in the women’s doubles and team of five.
It was Malaysia’s third clean sweep of the men and women’s team-of-five, having won the two titles in 1999 and 2005 in Manila.
Holloway was full of praise for his team, especially Rafiq, who was making his Games debut.
“Overall, he has done very well for himself here,” said Holloway.
“We had a few first timers in the squad this time. But they showed us what they’re capable off. Natasha and Syaidatul came out fighting... you could see how the women really fought their hearts out in team event. That's what we want to see," he added.
"Overall, I think we’ve got a great future with these young bowlers and as long as they all have the fighting spirit within, we'll be heading in a good direction."
The Star Online