Back on right lane

Slow and steady: Esther Cheah is far from being 100% fit but she is definitely on the road to recovery.

PETALING JAYA: Expect national bowler Esther Cheah to rock and roll again in the lanes by the end of this year.

Esther, who took a six-month break following a surgery on her knee last year, is far from being 100% fit but she is definitely on the road to recovery.

And if all falls into place, Esther will return to fight for the right to compete in the International Federation Bowling (IBF) World Cup from Nov 3-16 at the Washington Bowling Saloon in Victoria, Australia.

If she gets selected, it will be her first tournament in three years as she has not bowled since the Philippines SEA Games in 2019.

Head coach Holloway Cheah said Esther had started light training and was slowly getting back in shape.

“Esther has not joined the national team for full-time training yet, but she has started light bowling sessions,” said Holloway, who is also her father.

“Judging from her performance, she might need another one or two months before making a full return to the team.”

Holloway did not want Esther to rush into getting back into competitive form.

“She is looking forward to the World Cup and is making progress. We’ll know if she is able to compete in two months time,” he said.

“But there is no need to hurry as she still has time before the competition.

Meanwhile, Holloway is satisfied with the team’s performance at the recent World Games, in Birmingham, the United States, despite playing under a new format.

Sin Li Jane and Natasha Roslan won a bronze medal in the women’s doubles while both Timmy Tan and Rafiq Ismail managed to reach the top eight in the men’s doubles.

“Overall, I’m quite happy with their performance and I think they put up a fair fight,” said Holloway.

“It’s not easy to reach the top eight in the Games as they had to play in a knockout format from the start.

“They cannot afford to lose because they do not have a second chance. And it’s not easy to keep winning.

“Besides, the draw was also not favourable. In the singles, for instance, our boys lost in the first round because they have to take on Alec Kiplinger and Trent Michell (professionals) from the United States,” he said.

Before the World Cup, the national team have also been slated to participate in the Thailand Open at the Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl Ratchayothin in Bangkok, Thailand, from Aug 27-Sept 8.

“The race for the World Cup is still wide open. There are so many bowlers but we always choose the best, so it really depends on who will be in good form at that time,” added Holloway.

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