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Friday April 6, 2012

Pin-up girl Zandra wishes to win third Masters title after turning 26

KUALA LUMPUR: Bowling pin-up girl Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi turned 26 on March 29 and her birthday wish is to win her third Masters title in the 35th edition of the Canon Malaysian International Open Bowling Championships, which begin at Sunway Mega Lanes in Sunway Pyramid next month.

The Selangor bowler is confident of defending her title after a series of good results in three outings in the last two months.

Zandra, who won her first Malaysian Masters title in 2007, finished a respectable sixth in the Masters event in the Japan Open in February and was third – behind eventual champion Sin Li Jane and runner-up Sharon Koh – in the national championships.

Centre of attraction: Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi was a celebrity guest at the launch of the Standard Chartered Fun Run Friday.

Last week, in the Brunswick Euro Challenge in St Maximin, France, she finished a remarkable second in the Masters event.

And Zandra is thrilled with her encouraging start to the year.

“I am happy with my performances in the last three meets and I hope that, having turned 26, I will have better luck at the Malaysian Open,” she said.

Due to an overwhelming response from local and foreign bowlers, the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) have increased the total prize money by a whopping RM146,900 to RM366,050.

“There is no pressure on me and I will go all out to give my best in the meet to win my third Masters title,” said Zandra.

“Anyway, the increased prize money is enough motivation for me to do really well.”

The total prize money for the men’s Open category is up by RM95,000, from RM102,000 to RM197,000 while the women’s Open will see an increase of RM29,500 – from RM46,500 to RM76,000.

Zandra, who was celebrity guest at the launch of the Standard Chartered Fun Run at the Youth and Sports Ministry in Putrajaya yesterday, said that apart from training, she also runs three times a week to be physically and mentally prepared for the Malaysian Open.

“I like to run and I hope to compete in the Standard Chartered Fun Run on May 26 in Putrajaya,” said Zandra.

The Fun Run will be held to celebrate the National Youth Day in Putrajaya.

Last year, 5,000 runners took part in the 5km fun run and Standard Chartered aim to attract 8,000 runners this time.

Bowlers Mohd Nur Aiman, who won the Masters title in the Malaysian Open last year, and Zulmazran Zulkifli also attended the Standard Chartered Fun Run launch.

Meanwhile, Zandra failed to make the team for the Euro-Med Storm International in the Philippines after failing to complete the three-day selection roll-off at the Pyramid Mega Lanes yesterday.

Zandra skipped the last round due to lethargy and a slight injury.

Only the top 12 bowlers get to go and three newly-recruited elite squad bowlers – Isaac Russel Paul, Aris Ardilla Santosoh and Syaidatul Afifah – made the cut.

Selection roll-off results
Over three blocks of 24 games and women given handicap of 40 pins)

1. Mohd Nur Aiman 6003, 2. Sin Li Jane 5789, 3. Zulmazran Zulkifli 5707, 4. Alex Liew 5676, 5. Siti Safiyah Abdul Rahman 5671, 6. Adrian Ang 5670, 7. Esther Cheah 5652, 8. Shalin Zulkifli 5644, 9. Syaidatul Afifah 5622, 10. Isaac Russel Paul 5611, 11. Dayang Khairuniza 5553, 12, Aris Ardilla Santosoh 5537.

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