Women’s team of six fail to make it count against S. Koreans

Going all out: Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi in action during the women’s team of six final yesterday. — Bernama

Going all out: Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi in action during the women’s team of six final yesterday. — Bernama

THE Malaysian women's bowling team battled courageously for nine hours but their efforts proved futile as the South Koreans fended them off to clinch the team of six title.

Shalin Zulkifli, Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi and Natasha Roslan amassed a 36-game total of 8,149 pinfalls to finish 189 pins behind South Korea's sextet of Baek Seung-ja, Han Byul, Kim Hyun-mi, Lee Na-young, Lee Yeon Ji and Rye Seo-yeon (8,338) in a wire-to-wire contest.

Malaysia, the reigning world champions, were fourth after the second games but they shot up to second at the end of the morning first block.

And when the second block resumed, Malaysia piled up the pressure on the Koreans by reducing their 67-pin deficit to 15 pins at the end of the fourth games but failed to sustain the form in the fifth which paved the way for South Korea to pull away and reclaim the gold they won in Guangzhou in 2020, their third triumph in the event at the Games.

Still, it was a superb display from Shalin and Co who fought valiantly to retain their second position for the bowling team's third medal of the campaign in Jakarta after claiming gold in women's trios and silver in men's trios.

Malaysia last won the women's team title in Doha in 2006 and were third in Guangzhou in 2010.

In Incheon four years ago, they settled for a poor seventh placing.

Team manager Maradona Chok has lavished praises on team for their gutsy display.

“It was a tough team event over nine hours on the lanes, which is definitely longer than usual as it's normally played in a team of five," said Maradona.

“But the bowlers did their best right from the opening games and improved on their position from game to game. We were just 15 pins behind with the last two games to go.

“However they struggled in fifth as they could not figure out the lanes. It costs us dearly and that restored the Koreans’ confidence."

“The men's team events tomorrow will be another close encounter and our team is looking to show that they can deliver. They are high in confidence after the silver medal display in trios."

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