KUALA LUMPUR: Manchester Commonwealth Games lawn bowls gold medallist Siti Zalina Ahmad will spearhead Malaysia's challenge in the third Asian Championships, which will be held at the National Lawn Bowls Centre in Bukit Kiara here from July 6-12.
The 24-year-old Siti, who captured the singles and pairs gold medals in the championships last year in the Philippines, is the favourite among the contenders from six other countries – Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
The Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) have also lined-up an Asia versus Europe competition after the Asian championships. It will be held at the same venue from July 12-16.
The scretary of the MLBF, Ramble Dallan Rice-Oxley, said that the winners of the four events in the men's and women's categories – singles, pairs, triples and fours events – would play for Asia against the European team, comprising players from England, Scotland, Portugal and Guernsey.
Malaysia were the overall champions in the last Asian championships, winning 10 of the 11 gold medals at stake. The only title Malaysia failed to win was the men's singles.
Said coach Choo Yih Hwa: “We have got a strong reputation in the Asian championships and we hope to maintain it.”
She added that for the women, the championships were also part of their preparations for the 10th World Bowls, which will be hosted by Malaysia from Sept 1-18 next year.