Shalin bids to end the jinx


BY RAJES PAUL

PETALING JAYA: Bowler Shalin Zulkifli was in tears after her sixth AMF World Cup outing in Honduras last year and vowed never to take part in what she called her “jinxed tournament.” 

Yet, the 26-year-old is set to represent Malaysia again in this year's World Cup from Dec 5-12 in Singapore by virtue of being the top ranked national bowler. 

RAMADAN WORKOUT: Shalin Zulkifli will be using the fasting month to prepare for the World Cup in Singapore in December.

National bowling chief coach Chris Batson said he would select one man and one woman for the World Cup based on this month's national ranking list. 

“At the moment, Shalin is top on the list and I see no one overtaking her.  

“She is certain to represent Malaysia in the World Cup. In the men's, Daniel Lim is currently leading the pack. And without much changes in the ranking list, I am sure Daniel will be making his debut in the world meet,” said Batson. 

Now that Shalin has one more shot at winning a title she has never won, despite coming agonisingly close, she has decided to work hard on preparing herself throughout Ramadan. 

“I cannot run away from this tournament can I?” she quipped. 

“I have always wanted to add this title into my collection and my aim is now to win it before I retire, even it takes the next 10 years.” 

“It is one of the most prestigious individual world titles that does not offer prize money. It is just a great honour to win it.  

“All the greatest bowlers have won it at least once. And I want to win it too,” she added. 

In Honduras, Shalin had finished third after the round robin game to qualify for the top eight knock-out stage. But she was beaten in the first game by Filipino Jojo Canare. 

She also suffered the same fate in two previous outings in 2000 and 2001. She has made the stepladder finals three times before - finishing as runner-up in Belfast 1996 and ending up third twice – in 1997 in Cairo and 1998 in Kobe. 

Shalin said she would continue training during the fasting month, with some modifications to her training programme. 

“We (the national team) now train at night (from 8.30pm-10.30pm) after the Muslims break fast. I am not going for my weight training at the National Sports Council (NSC) this month but I am doing some light training at home,” she said. 

This year, she may not even get to celebrate Hari Raya with her family and friends. 

Before the AMF World Cup, Malaysia will also take part in the World Tenpin Team Cup in Holland from Nov 16-25. Both the women's and men's team are the defending champion. 

“If I am selected, then I will have no choice but to go and give up celebrating Hari Raya with my family again. The MTBC (Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress) have not named the team yet.  

“They may opt for a younger team. I am not sure. But whatever the decision, my training will go on as usual,” added Shalin. 

Besides Shalin, the others in training squad are Lai Kin Ngoh, Sarah Yap, Wendy Chai, Zandra Aziela and Choy Poh Lai. The national men bowlers in training are Daniel, Azidi Ameran, Alex Liew, Ben Heng, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Mohd Nadri Mohd Noor, Jonathan Lim and Mohd Noer. 

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