PETALING JAYA: Cheerful, pleasant and a team player.
These are the words national bowling coach Holloway Cheah had to describe Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi (pic) who quit on Wednesday.
During her 10-year stint with the team, Holloway has seen the 28-year-old progress by leaps and bounds and achieve numerous success especially in team events.
Her top achievements include winning the doubles gold at the 2015 Asian Championships in Bangkok; the team gold at the 2017 World Championships in Las Vegas and the trios gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.
“Afifah makes a good teammate because she is someone you can rely on. In team events, she never gives up and her sunny disposition will light up any alley,” said Holloway.
“I respect her decision to leave although I did ask her to reconsider.
“Anyway, she is quitting at the top of her game. I honestly feel that she has at least another five good years of top-level bowling. So I was a bit surprised by her decision.
“As her former coach, I only wish her the best in whatever she does.”
Although Holloway said it will be difficult to replace her, he is relieved that the team have a good pool of female bowlers.
In the main squad, they have Shalin Zulkifli, Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Natasha Roslan while Nerosha Keligit, Nur Amirah Auni Azman, Radin Nur Najwa Arifah Radin Dzulfakar, Faten Najihah Ahmad Faik and Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal are in the back-up squad.
The juniors consist of Gillian Lim, Puteri Nurul Dini Mohd Faudzi, Nurul Alyssa Junaidi and Nurul Ayunni Junaidi.
“We definitely have the strength, but we cannot compare the back-ups with Afifah. You cannot compare an apple with an orange.
“Right now, training is ongoing and the players are using the internal roll-offs to build themselves. Without any competition, motivation will definitely be affected but we have incorporated some exciting elements into our training sessions.
“Besides the roll-offs, we have team challenges, trios and doubles face-off. This will ensure that they are always on their toes when competitions resume next year.”
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