NO golden flourish, but the back-up bowlers have shown they have what it takes to emulate their seniors.
While the other countries fielded their top bowlers for the Games, the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Confederation (MTBC) took the bold step by sending a young and inexperienced squad.
The result? A creditable two silvers and a bronze.
The women’s doubles of Nur Syazwani Sahar and Gillian Lim picked up the bronze while the men’s team (Nevern Netaneel, Shahrukh Amin Zulkifli, Mohd Hafiz Zainuddin, Mohd Syazirol Shamsuddin) and women’s team (Syazwani, Gillian, Nerosha Keligit, Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal) finished runners-up.
At the last Games in Manila two year, the seniors returned home with two golds, three silvers and two bronzes.
But this eye-opening outing would only make the young guns stronger for future competitions as they now know what is needed to face the region’s best.
Nerosha, for example, said they learnt a lot from the Singaporeans, whose bowlers had won medals in the World Championships.
“Playing against New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan was a valuable learning experience for us. I learned how to adjust quicker to the lanes and to deal with spares. It’s a great experience.”
MTBC secretary general Maradona Chok was slightly disappointed in not getting a gold as they had gone to Hanoi to create a surprise especially in team events.
“Many mixed comments as we made a decision to send our back-up squad but we believed they were ready to step up for their country.
“All of them held their own in the Games, which is good for us.
“They brought much pride and glory with their never-give-up attitude, which has been the strength of our squads over the years.”
Singapore were crowned overall champions with three golds, one silver and three bronzes, followed by the Philippines with two golds and one silver, Indonesia took home one gold, one silver and two bronzes while Thailand picked up a bronze.
It is learnt that bowling will not be competed at next year’s Cambodia Games which means these youngsters will have three years to be even stronger in Thailand 2025.
Next up, the back-up team will join the elite group to prepare for the Asian Championships in Hong Kong and the International Bowling Federation (IBF) World Cup, both in November.
As for the elite team, their next assignment will be the World Games in Alabama, the United States, from July 5-12. Timmy Tan and Rafiq Ismail will represent the men while Sin Li Jane and Natasha Roslan make up the women’s team.