New ball game for Shalin

PETALING JAYA: Season campaigner Shalin Zulkifli may (pic) take on a different role after she has achieved two personal goals – winning individual gold medals - at the World Bowling Championships and Asian Games. 

The 27-year-old Shalin is currently in Aalborg, Denmark for the world meet which will start with official practice on Aug 4. The others in the Malaysian team are Wendy Chai, Lai Kin Ngoh, Sarah Yap, Choy Poh Lai and Esther Cheah. 

The Asian Games is in Doha in December next year. 

After bowling for the country over a decade, the reigning national champion Shalin is keen on setting up a commission for Malaysian athletes. 

“We (Malaysia) still do not have athletes represented in anything here. Our voices are not heard as much as we want to. It will be good to have a committee for athletes so that their grouses will be heard and their welfare taken care of,” said Shalin. 

“There are times when the deserving athletes are overlooked. Most of the times, athletes take in everything that is thrown at them. Not many dare to speak up. If I have achieved everything that I have as a bowler, this is one of aspect I want to be involved in,” said the Universiti Malaya Sports Science final year student.  

But first, Shalin want to land an elusive individual gold in her fourth world meet outing. 

“My target is to win a gold. There is nothing higher (for bowling) than winning an individual gold in the world meet. I have let slip a few opportunities but I am determined to do well this time,” she said 

Indeed Shalin, has come close in many occasions.  

In her first outing in Reno (1995), she bagged a silver medal in the trios event.  

At the 1999 world meet in Abu Dhabi, Shalin came even closer, finishing second in the singles, All-Events and doubles. 

At the previous world meet at Petaling Jaya, she did win a gold but it was in the team event. 

Yesterday, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi encouraged athletes to be involved in setting up the athletes commission. 

“There is already a world mechanism. (Legendary pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is the president of the world athletes commission). Unfortunately, Malaysians are not following suit. Our athletes here are under-represented,” said Kok Chi. 

“The IOC (International Olympic Committee) encourage all their members to set up a athletes commission. This will help the athletes to look after their affairs and they will also be represented during OCM's board and council meeting. We tried to set up this five years ago but unfortunately athletes themselves are not too interested.  

“The world athletes commission only involves athletes from the Olympic sport. But if Shalin is interested, she can get it started for Malaysia although bowling is not an Olympic sport.” 

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