PETALING JAYA: Bowler Lai Kin Ngoh celebrated her 27th birthday yesterday. And she hopes to be granted her three wishes in tournaments this year.
Kin Ngoh will be out to redeem herself in her second appearance in the World Ranking Masters in Florida from July 19-24 and in the World Championships on home ground from Sept 9-20.
She also harbours high hopes of winning her first-ever Asian Tour title this year after coming close on many occasions since the championships' inception in 1998.
“I did not make the second round (top eight) in my first outing in the World Ranking Masters in Denmark last year. I hope I can adapt to the lane conditions this time and finish among the top three,” said the southpaw.
Besides Kin Ngoh, Malaysia will be represented by Shalin Zulkilfi, Sarah Yap and Wendy Chai in the Masters event. Ben Heng is the sole Malaysian competitor.
Kin Ngoh and Ben are last-minute inclusions for the tournament following the withdrawal of three Koreans. The tournament features the top eight bowlers from the Asian, American and European zones.
In her debut in the 1999 World Championships in Abu Dhabi, Kin Ngoh finished without a medal.
“This time, I hope to be in contention for medals in all six events (singles, doubles, trios, all-events, team and Masters),” she said.
Kin Ngoh also hopes to stamp her mark as a bowler to be reckoned with on the world level stage.
In Asian competitions, Kin Ngoh bagged two gold medals in the 1996 Asian Championships in South Korea. She was the runner-up in the Brunswick Asian Champion of Champions in 1997; won the silver in the Masters of the Asian Games last year and several gold medals in the SEA Games.
But an Asian Tour title has eluded her thus far.
“I hope to win one of the legs this year. I have finished as the runner-up and qualified for the semi-finals many times since 1998 but I have never been lucky to win it,” said Kin Ngoh, who was the runner-up in last season's Hong Kong leg and Grand Slam Finals.
In this year's Tour thus far, she made an early exit in the Malaysian leg and was the semi-finalist in Manila last month.
Malaysian bowlers skipped the second leg in Thailand due to concerns over SARs (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The remaining legs will be played in Singapore, China, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
“I hope this year will be a better one for me,” said Kin Ngoh.
She was not able to celebrate her birthday together with twin sister Kin Har. But there was a do for Kin Ngoh, who has served the country for eight years.
The national bowling squad celebrated her birthday after completing the first day of the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress' (MTBC) dry run to test facilities and scoring systems for the World Championships at the Pyramid Mega Lanes.
In the dry run, Kin Ngoh finished ninth in the singles event (for men and women) with a total score of 1,234 pinfalls.
Azidi Ameran came out tops in the singles with a score of 1,441 pinfalls while second was newcomer Mohd Noer of Sabah, just 10 pins behind. Alex Liew was third with 1,380 pins.
In the team event, the five-man team of Zulmazran Zulkifli, Alex, Jonathan Lim, Daniel Lim and Ben are in the lead after the first block of three games with a total 3,320 pins.
Singles (over six games): 1. Azidi Ameran (Nse) 1441, 2. Mohd Noer (Sab) 1431, 3. Alex Liew (Sel) 1380, 4. Daniel Lim (Sel) 1355, 5. Choy Poh Lai (Joh) 1291, 6. Wendy Chai (Sel) 1278, 7. Lai Chuen Lian (Pen) 1271, 8. Shalin Zulkilfi (Mas) 1270, 9. Lai Kin Ngoh (Pen) 1234, 10. Zulmazran Zulkilfi (Sel) 1219, 11. Mohd Nadri Mohd Noor (Sel), 12. Tang Joh Six (Swk) 1188, 13. Ng Yiew Hup (Sel) 1160, 14. Voon Kim Ling (Pen) 1160, 15. Ang Kean Joo (Sel) 1157, 16. Ben Heng (Sel) 1149, 17. Saiful Hisham (Ked) 1149, 18. Jonathan Lim (Swk) 1142, 19. Zandra Aziela (Sel) 1134, 20. Aaron Kong (Pen) 1105, 21. Zaid Izlan (Sel) 1094, 22. Sarah Yap (Sel) 1092, 23. Eric Ang (Pen) 1088, 24. Vivien Khoo (Pen) 1079, 25. Lim Jia Chyi (Sel) 1058, 26. Rohaya Abdul Rahim (Pen) 1040, 27. Elaine Lam (Prk) 1026, 28. Mervyn Mohd (Sel) 1003.
Team (over three games): 1. Zulmazran Zulkilfi, Alex Liew, Jonathan Lim, Daniel Lim, Ben Heng 3320, 2. Choy Poh Lai, Wendy Chai, Sarah Yap, Lai Kin Ngoh, Shalin Zulkifli 3144, 3. Eric Ang, Mervyn Mohd, Lim Jia Chyi, Elaine Lam, Mohd Nadri Mohd Noor 3013, 4. Azidi Ameran, Lai Chuen Lian, Saiful Hisham, Sufian Othman, Ng Yiew Hup 2982, 5. Ang Kean Joo, Mohd Noer, Derrik Yaw, Zaid Izlan, Aaron Kong 2757, 6. Rohaya Abdul Rahim, Tang Joh Six, Voon Kim Ling, Vivien Khoo, Zandra Aziela 2735.