National elite bowler Mohd Rafiq Ismail did well to make the final of the Malaysian Open after returning from injury recently. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Finishing second in the recently-concluded Malaysian Open bowling championships is just not enough for national elite bowler Mohd Rafiq Ismail.
The Form Five student at SMK Bukit Indah in Ampang was denied his first Malaysian Open title by national back-up bowler Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin, who won 182-156, 207-192 in the final.
It was nonetheless a good tournament for Rafiq, considering it was his first competition since returning from injury.
Rafiq suffered a fracture to his left arm after the strenuous 72-game roll-off in the national trials in January. As a result, he missed the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Munich in March, the Inter-state championship and also the National championships last month.
“I think I did well in the tournament (Malaysian Open) even though I didn’t win. It was really frustrating to lose in the final but I know I should look at the bigger picture.
“I have just returned from an injury and I’m already making it to the final,” said Rafiq.
Sporting a gloomy face after losing to Aiman in Saturday’s final at the Sunway Mega Lanes in Sunway Pyramid, Rafiq said he did not make any changes to his game despite the injury.
“Some people change their game because of their injuries. I just stuck to my old game because it still works for me,” said Rafiq.
His game was nothing short of impressive in the Malaysian Open. He managed to finish the Masters’ Round Two on pole position to earn direct entry to the final. What is more impressive is that he scored a perfect game (300 score) en route to finishing on top over eight games.
His performance last week augurs well for Rafiq, who hopes to be selected for the Incheon Asian Games in September.
The national elite squad departs for Manila on Monday for the ongoing Euro Med International Masters Challenge which ends on Saturday.
“I would love to win the Malaysian Open. Maybe it was just my luck but I had a good run. I will try again in the next tournament (Euro Med) because with the Asian Games in the picture, every tournament is important,” said Rafiq.