KUALA LUMPUR: It was a glorious day for the bowling team as they walked away with three titles at last night’s 2018 National Sports Awards.
Apart from Rafiq Ismail being crowned the Best Sportsman of the Year, the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) claimed the men’s Team of the Year through Adrian Ang and Tun Ameerul Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam and men’s Coach of the Year in Holloway Cheah.
Adrian and Ameerul created history at the World Championships in Hong Kong last year by becoming the nation’s first men’s doubles winners.
For Adrian, the award completed a month of joy for him.
“I picked up the Penang Sportsman of the Year award, won the Thailand Open, got inducted into the Malaysia Book of Records and tonight Hakim and I were named Best Team of the Year – all in the last two weeks!,” said Adrian.
“It’s been amazing for us but I can assure everyone that we will not rest on laurels.”
Septuagenarian Holloway won his second best coach award. The last time he won it was in 2003, the year he guided the women’s team to the world title in Kuala Lumpur.
“I’m so happy to win again, it’s been awhile,” said the 76-year-old. “I would like to thank MTBC for continuing to have faith in me.”
Holloway has led the bowlers to all the major titles including the World Championships, World Cup and the Asian Games.
MTBC president Datuk Dr P.S Nathan hailed the bowlers while Holloway’s recognition particularly pleased him most.
“We in the MTBC are delighted beyond words that three of our nominees have won,” said Dr Nathan.
“Thanks to him, the number of medals the bowlers have won runs in the hundreds.”
The MTBC could have landed a fourth award through their Asian Games gold medal-winning trios of Esther Cheah, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi, but they were pipped by divers Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong to the Best Women’s Team award.
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