National women bowler Siti Safiyah Amirah will be making her Asian Games debut in Incheon, South Korea from Sept 19-Oct 4. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman will finally get her wish to compete in the Asian Games when she takes to the lane in Incheon, South Korea for the 17th edition from Sept 19-Oct 4.
Siti had endured an eight-year wait before finally being called up last month to join four-time Asiad gold-medallist Shalin Zulkifli, Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and surprise package Hee Kar Yen.
“I wasn’t picked for the Busan Games (2006) as I was still very young. Then, I missed the cut during the selection roll-off for the Guangzhou Games in 2010.
“Feels like it’s been a long-time coming. So, after the selection roll-off, my goal was to earn a place for the Asiad. It’s what I’ve been gearing up to for the whole year. I’m happy it’s finally happened for me,” said Siti, who picked up three golds (doubles, team and All-Events) at the Inter-State Bowling Championships in April.
However, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride for Siti.
She won the Malaysian Open at the age of 14 in 2005. Four years later, she bagged the World Ranking Masters and finished third at the AMF Qubica World Cup.
Then, disaster struck in 2010. She was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and it sent her spiralling downwards as the weight-loss (a total of six kilogrammes), trembling and sweaty palms (all symptoms related to thyroid) affected her performance.
That’s why the 24-year-old says the Incheon Games will be that much more important.
“I don’t know what will happen in four years’ time. So, I want to make the best out of this opportunity and do my best there. My personal target is to win at least a gold ... in any event. If not, at least a medal of any colour,” said Siti, who won a team bronze with Har Yen at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games last year.
“When it comes to Games like this, it’s never about personal glory. There is so much more on the line in Incheon and the pressure is definitely there to deliver.
“This has been one of the hardest centralised trainings I’ve undergone, but that just shows how much we all really want it.”