PENANG: National bowler Yazliza Razlan has always looked up to her elder sister, Yazlin, for advice and pointers before any big tournament.
But the tables have turned for the Sixth Asian Schools Championships, which get underway at the Megalanes Bowl in Prai today.
It is now debutant Yazlins turn to listen to her younger sister on what to expect in the competition. It will be the fourth appearance for the 17-year-old Yazliza in the championships and she was the best Malaysian performer with three gold in her last appearance in Melbourne last year.
I have competed in the world and Asian youth championships but I have no experience playing in the Asian Schools competition, said the 18-year-old Yazlin yesterday.
I have sought advice from my sister and she told me to forget about the word school in the tournaments title because it is going to be just as tough as any other international competitions.
As hosts as well as the defending champions, we have to do well here and I will give my best shot to help Malaysia retain the overall title.
Yazlin missed out on the 2000 and 2001 Asian Schools championships because of commitments with the senior national team. She was not selected to play in last years championships.
In the last outing, Malaysia had a haul of 5-4-2 and Yazliza won the gold medals in the girls singles and Masters and team events.
The bubbly Fifth Former of SMK Subang Utama in Selangor is cautious about making predictions of emulating her three-gold feat but she is confident of producing another good performance.
It is difficult to make early predictions as there are many new faces in the championship and I have yet to see them in action, said Yazliza.
However, I can comment on our team. We have several new bowlers too. Team spirit is high and we are confident we can rise to the occasion.
Yazlin added that the non-appearance of the Singaporean bowlers, particularly SEA Games gold medalist Valerie Teo, would make their task a little easier.
Valeries absence will allow us some breathing space but there are still strong bowlers from Australia, the Philippines and Japan to reckon with, said Yazlin.
The Razlan sisters, who are in the Malaysian girls A team, will begin their campaign in the singles on Friday.
Team A: Jonathan Lim, Aaron Kong, Mohamed Nadri, Karry Chang.
Team B: Eric Ang, Steven Yam, Mahathir Mohd Nor, Khairul Hafidz.
Team A: Yazlin Razlan, Yazliza Razlan, Zandra Aziela, Voon Kim Ling.
Team B: Elaine Lam, Sharon Koh, Esther Cheah, Diana Ezanee.