Don’t hit the panic button

National bowler Sin Li Jane

PETALING JAYA: Is there a talent to replace national bowler Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi who had retired recently?

Not one or two but future stars are aplenty to take over the vacant spot, says one of most successful national women bowlers Sin Li Jane.

Li Jane is far from worried as she has seen the quality of female back-up bowlers based on their strong performances in the internal roll-offs.

The 28-year-old Li Jane believes Nerosha Keligit, Nur Amirah Auni Azman, Radin Nur Najwa Arifah Radin Dzulfakar, Faten Najihah Ahmad Faik and Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal have what it takes to make the step to the main squad.

“I’ve seen these back-up bowlers during the roll-offs and some of them have improved a lot. Compared to last year, they look much better in training too,” said Li Jane.

“I’m glad to see all the improvements that they have made. With the pool we have, we’ll continuously have a strong team.

“It is good to have healthy competitions between the elite and back-up teams. This is one of the best ways for us to stay competitive.”

The 28-year-old Syaidatul had dropped a bombshell last week when she ended her 10-year stint in the national team to explore new career opportunities.

She had done well with the team and her 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.

“I have known Afifah for a very long time. She is a team player and is always jovial. Well, her retirement was a surprise to all of us. However, I wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavours,” said Li Jane.

Without her, the women’s elite team are left with Li Jane, Shalin Zulkifli, Esther Cheah, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Natasha Roslan.

Meanwhile, with no competitions happening anytime soon due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Li Jane said they had been working on their weaknesses and improving on their techniques during training.

“I am also focusing on endurance to keep myself fit. When you are fit, you will not face any issues or injuries in the alley. It also helps with the longevity in the game.

While many are lamenting the lack of tournaments, Li Jane said it has been an adventurous nine months for her.

“Normally, I’ll defer my studies if there are major events but now, I have more time with my studies, I’m attending online classes now,” said the Sunway University business administration student.

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