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Wednesday May 19, 2010

Elite bowlers must shine in Singapore Open to make Asiad team

PETALING JAYA: National elite bowlers should treat the Singapore International Open from May 25-June 6 as an important one as it will be the last tournament for them to be assessed for the team to the Guangzhou Asian Games.

The Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) high performance manager, Cheah Ban Cheng, said that selection for the Asiad squad would be finalised by the end of next month.

“We have been making assessments on their performances in tournaments since January and the Open in Singapore will be the last one before we decide the final squad for the Asian Games,” he said.

“Places in the team are at stake and they have to perform well in Singapore if they are to make the grade.”

The national elite bowlers have participated in three international meets this year – the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Paris, Canon Malaysian Open and the Sinai International Open in Egypt.

Adrian Ang was the runner-up in Paris and he won the men’s title in the Malaysian Open while Zandra Aziela was second in the women’s competition in Egypt.

Ban Cheng said that they would have a 12-member team (six men and six women) for the Asiad in November.

Currently in the men’s team are Adrian, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Muhd Syafiq Ridhwan, Aaron Kong, Muhd Nur Aiman, Daniel Lim and Alex Liew.

“I think we should have no problem in selecting the men but we are having a slight problem for the women’s team,” he said.

The women are going through a lean spell and the MTBC are seeking an option in back-up bowler Sin Li Jane to add depth to the squad prior to the selection for the Asiad.

The members of the women’s elite team are Shalin Zulkifli, Esther Cheah, Sharon Koh, Siti Safiyah Amirah, Wendy Chai, Zandra and Zatil Iman Abdul Ghani.

“As for Esther (Cheah), who is currently in the United States, she will come back before the Singapore meet and the selection committee will assess her upon her return,” said Ban Cheng.

“Whether she will make the squad for the Singapore Open will depend on her physical condition.”

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