Doing well: Mohd Soufi Rusli (left) and Nor Hashimah Ismail (right) in jovial mood after they qualified for the semifinals of the lawn bowls World Cup in New South Wales, Australia, yesterday. With them is coach Zuraidi Puteh.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia are assured of two medals at the lawn bowls World Cup after Mohd Soufi Rusli and Nor Hashimah Ismail defied the odds to qualify for the semi-finals.
Yesterday, both Soufi and Hashimah won their playoff matches at the Warilla Bowls and Recreational Club in New South Wales, Australia.
Hashimah breezed past Ronalyn Greenlees of the Philippines 10-6, 8-5 in the women’s singles while Soufi fought back to edge South African Pierre Breitenbach 3-12, 11-4, 3-1 in the men’s singles.
Both the Malaysians now face formidable New Zealand opponents for places in the final.
Hashimah has a Herculean task as she plays four-time World Cup Indoor champion Jo Edwards today. Tomorrow, Soufi faces Ali Forysth, the 2008 world outdoor winner.
National coach Zuraidi Puteh was pleased to see both his charges in the semi-finals.
“It’s not over yet. Our opponents in the semi-finals are top class players. But our players are no pushovers, too. I believe they will rise to the occasion,” said Zuraidi.
Malaysia have won the women’s singles once, through Siti Zalina Ahmad in 2015. Siti lost the crown to Norfolk Island’s Carmen Anderson last year.
*Playoffs for semi-final places
Men: Jeremy Henry (Aus) bt Curtis Hanley (Aus) 8-7, 14-1; Mohd Soufi Rusli (Mas) bt Pierre Breitenbach (Rsa) 3-12, 11-4, 3-1. Women: Lucy Beere (Gue) bt Lesley Doig (Sco) 9-8, 6-8, 2-1; Nor Hashimah Ismail (Mas) bt Ronalyn Greenlees (Phi) 10-5, 8-5.
Women: Natasha Scott (Aus) vs Lucy Breere (Gue), Jo Edwards (Nzl) vs Nor Hashimah Ismail (Mas). > Tomorrow Men: Ronnie Duncan (Sco) vs Jeremy Henry (Aus), Ali Forysth (Nzl) vs Mohd Soufi Rusli (Mas).