Esther with Rafiq Ismail (right) were the medallist for Malaysia on the opening day of bowling competition. Rafiq won the gold medal in the men's singles. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
SINGAPORE: National bowler Esther Cheah isn’t worried about Singapore’s supremacy in the women’s singles competition.
The host nation scored a 1-2-3 finish at the Orchid Bowl in the Orchid Country Club with Daphne Tan taking the gold with 1,368 pinfalls and Jazreel Tan taking silver with 1,313. Cherie Tan finished with 1,294 pinfalls to place third ahead of Esther who amassed 1,291 pinfalls.
However, Esther was awarded the bronze because according to SEA Games rules, countries aren’t allowed to make a clean sweep of the medals. So, the bronze is awarded to the next best finisher.
Singaporeans Shayna Ng and New Hui Fen were not far behind. Shayna was fifth with 1,288 pinfalls while Hui Fen scored a 1,278 to take sixth, and their team-mate Bernice Lim completed the top 10 with a 1,245 total.
Esther, 29, barely had time to catch her breath or take a look at the scores before taking part in the medal ceremony.
“Going into the final game, I knew I had to fight for a medal. I just didn’t know which colour. But that split really cost me. I came into this just hoping for a medal,” said Esther, who last competed at the 2007 Korat Games.
“Singles is really anyone’s game. You can do really well today and tomorrow you might not do so well.”
Upon finding out the scores, the Thailand Open Women’s Masters runner-up said: “Getting the bronze just makes me want to fight harder.”
“But for us (Malaysia), we’re stronger together ... in the doubles, trios and team. One gold and one bronze on Day One is a good start. Hopefully, we can build on this and if you can make a clean sweep of it, why not?”
The Star Online