Bowler Mohd Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek is an avid cyclist and often rides over 100km during the weekends to stay fit. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: National elite bowler and 2012 World Cup winner Mohd Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek will have until March to fool around on his bike before the first tournament for the year takes place in Munich, Germany.
An avid cyclist, Syafiq spends his weekends riding over 100km just to keep fit. He even takes part in amateur races – with the recent one being the Seri Menanti Royal Cycling Challenge in Negri Sembilan, where he finished 28th.
“I’m getting good at this (cycling) but there is no way I’m switching sport,” joked Syafiq, who graduated from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) with a degree in human resource last year.
“The first bowling tournament is still far away ... I have a lot of free time. I can’t just sit around and do nothing at home.”
The first challenge for the elite bowlers this year would be the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Munich from March 15-23. After that, it’s the Malaysian National Championships (April 5-12) .
Despite spending a lot of time on the saddle, Syafiq is aware of the busy schedule ahead once the tournament cycle hits full swing after Munich. The major assignment for the elite bowlers this year is the Incheon Asian Games in September.
“From the selection for the elite bowlers held last month, which saw many bowlers crashing out, we knew the congress (Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress) are coming down hard on us to constantly perform throughout the year and hit certain targets set for us.
“We have to be consistent the whole year and try to avoid injuries so that we can participate in as many tournaments as possible,” said Syafiq.
Staying injury-free is also one of Syafiq’s priorities ahead of the busy year.
Commenting on the unfortunate stress fracture injury suffered by team-mate Mohd Rafiq Ismail, Syafiq said the style of bowling was a crucial factor on how prone one is to injury.
“Rafiq uses a heavier ball and launches it at a higher speed. I have a more laid back style ... with less force.”