Bowling: Safuan plans to hold on to No. 1 ranking

PETALING JAYA: Safuan Said has pledged to maintain his status as the world number one in lawn bowls following his gold-medal winning effort in the men’s singles competition of the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch last Sunday. 

The 25-year-old Safuan said that he would not sit on his laurels and would aim at winning more honours for the country. 

“Now, I really feel like a world champion,” said Safuan on his arrival at the KLIA in Sepang on Monday. 

Safuan made it to the knockout stage of the competition as the group winner with nine wins and a defeat. He lifted the title by beating Aaron Sheriff of Australia 21-10 in the final. 

“This is the best performance of my career thus far. It was not easy against the world’s best singles players. At the same time, I had to maintained a high level of consistency,” he said. 

“The semi-final against Ryan Bester of Canada was the toughest. I beat him by a point (21-20). I had earlier lost to him in the preliminary round. Having eliminated him, I was confident of winning the title.” 

Safuan has made great strides in his lawn bowls career. His credentials include winning a silver medal in the World Cup Indoor singles championships in Sydney in 2006. Last year, he was placed seventh in the World Champions of Champion’s singles competition in New South Wales. 

Malaysia returned from the World Bowls with a haul of a gold and four bronze medals and the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) president, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, said that the success showed that the federation had a winning formula. 

“The MLBF have a comprehensive set-up on the preparation of players and development plans to produce champions. We hope more honours will roll in for the nation,” he said.