PETALING JAYA: The national Under-18 bowlers can afford to smile again.
This comes after the Asian Junior Championships (AJC), which was initially cancelled, have been reinstated by the Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) and will now be held at the same venue in Bangkok in December.
The competition dates will be announced at a later date. The event was to be held from July 24-31.
This is certainly welcoming news for the youngsters as the World Junior Championships (WJC) in Helsingborg, Sweden to be staged after the AJC was called off due to Covid-19.
In fact, it was due to the WJC that the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) decided to expand their national youth squad by roping in the country’s best talents aged 17 and below last October.
Nine players – five boys and four girls – were under the charge of former internationals Azidi Ameran and Alex Liew.
The boys are Ahmad Azriq Izamudin, Shaqeem Izwan Teh Shahrul Hafiz Teh, Airel Amri Suhaimi, Syabil Azam Syamsul Azam and Mohd Raul Haikal Mandra Raman while the girls’ squad consist of Anis Hannani Romzi, Nurul Anis Nabila Nizam, Cara Loh Wai Theng and Nur Aqila Aini Faiz Ahmad.
“With the AJC slated for December, let’s hope it would take place, ” said MTBC secretary general Maradona Chok.
“Obviously, we can’t control what’s going to happen in future, but the least we can do is to get these kids ready for competition.
“The AJC should give our juniors something to look forward to. This batch are basically new faces and they are eager to impress.
“We can see that they’re working very hard, so it’s going to be interesting to see what they can do in their first assignment.”
Malaysia missed the last two editions which was previously contested under the Asian Schools Tenpins Bowling Championships.
The MTBC did not send a team to Taiwan (2018) and Hong Kong (2019) as they lacked players.
When Malaysia hosted the 18th edition in Kuching in 2017, the team led by Tun Ameerul Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam and Gillian Lim emerged as overall champions, winning six out of the 10 golds at stake.