Bowling: Siti opts for youth


PETALING JAYA: Bowler Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman has chosen to compete in the Asian Youth Championships instead of the women’s World Championships. 

And national chief coach Holloway Cheah thinks that the 17-year-old has made a wise move. 

Yesterday, the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) left Siti out of their six-member team for the World Championships, which will be held in Monterrey from Aug 28-Sept 10.  

The six in the team are Esther Cheah, Shalin Zulkifli, Wendy Chai, Choy Poh Lai, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi and Sharon Koh. Both Zandra and Sharon will be making their debut in the championships. 

Holloway said that Siti would do a better job as the anchor for the team for the youth tournament, which will be held in Beijing from Aug 15-22. 

“Siti chose the Asian Youth Championships when I asked her which of the two tournaments she would prefer to play in. I agreed with her because she is the best among the youth bowlers and has a shot at making a big impact in Beijing,” said Holloway. 

“She is certainly one of our future stars. Not competing in the World Championships will also give her more time to concentrate on her SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations.” 

Holloway added that the target for the bowlers in the World Championships was to regain the team title Malaysia last won in 2003. At the last edition in Odense in 2005, Malaysia finished a dismal 20th in a 34-team competition. 

Siti will not be competing in yet another major tournament. She also did not make the cut for the Asian Games in Doha last year. 

“I just have to wait for the next world meet (in 2009). I found out that my SPM trial exams clashed with the World Championships. I decided it was better to concentrate on the Asian youth meet,” she said. 

“I did well in Europe (runner-up at the Czech Open and 10th in San Marino). I was able to handle myself better in crucial stages. There certainly has been improvement. 

“I aim to win two gold medals at the Asian Youth Championships – in the team and individual events. Last year, I won the team gold in Perth. After that I opted to give preference to my studies.” 

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