PETALING JAYA: It was a sad day for the national bowling team – both on and off the alley – in the Brunswick Eurochallenge in St Maximin, France.
Firstly, the team were stunned to learn that Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore’s father, Patrick, had died on Friday night after battling throat cancer.
Then, at the alley yesterday, Adrian Ang (pic) was the only one left to carry Malaysia’s challenge in the tournament after the conclusion of the final step one stage.
Team manager Cheah Ban Cheng said Jacqueline, who did not make the cut for the final rounds, could only leave France yesterday afternoon as most of the flights to Kuala Lumpur were full.
“We received news that her father was in critical condition on Friday morning but were unable to put her on flight home as all of them were fully booked,” he said.
Over at the Plaza Bowling Centre, Malaysia had 10 bowlers in the final step one. But all bar one – Adrian – were knocked out by a host of Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) players.
Adrian had a six-game total of 1,343 pinfalls to finish 15th in the stage, where only 16 bowlers advance to the next step to meet the 12 bowlers who earned automatic qualification by virtue of qualifying in the top 12 positions.
“It is a very tough field this year ... even defending champion Clara Guerrero (Colombia) did not make the cut for the finals,” said Ban Cheng.
“With all the PBA pros here, things are not that easy for our bowlers and the difficult lane conditions made it even tougher.
“Although the team were stunned by the news about Jacqueline’s father, they were fully focused on the lanes.”
Halfway into the stage, Malaysia had five bowlers – Zulmazran Zulkifli, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, Shalin Zulkifli, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Adrian – in contention to advance.
However, the PBA stars upped their game, with Mike Quarry of England topping the table after six games with 1,561 pinfalls, followed by compatriot Dominic Barret (1,471).
Mohd Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek, who finished third here last year, could only finish in 31st spot on 1,267 pinfalls.
The 28 bowlers in the final step two will bowl another six games from scratch and only the top eight will advance to the final step three.
Qualifying: 1. Tom Hess (US) 1533, 2. Dino Castillo (US) 1531, 3. Mike Fagan (US) 1514, 4. Sean Rash (US) 1488, 5. Stuart Williams (Eng) 1475, 6. Tom Smallwood (US) 1465, 7. Joonas Jehkinen (Fin) 1464, 8. Mika Koivuniemi (Fin) 1453, 9. Osku Palermaa (Fin) 1449, 10. Anders Lousdal (Den) 1439, 11. Raymond Teech (Eng) 1428, 12. Josh Blanchard (US) 1428.
Selected (all Malaysia): 16. Zulmazran Zulkifli 1417, 19. Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi 1415, 22. Mohd Nur Aiman Khairuddin 1412, 29. Shalin Zulkifli 1387, 30. Esther Cheah 1387, 33. Adrian Ang 1384, 37. Mohd Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek 1375, 38. Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman 1372, 45. Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana Abang Jamalidon 1363, 51. Sin Li Jane 1358.
Final step 1 (top 16 advance): Mike Quarry (Eng) 1561, 2. Dominic Barret (Eng) 1471, 3. Tommy Jones (US) 1441, 4. Martin Larsen (Swe) 1425, 5. Michael Holzapfel (Ger) 1400, 6. Daniel MacLelland (Can) 1388, 7. Mathias Sarmadi (Fra) 1372, 8. Brigit Poppler (Ger) 1372, 9. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (US) 1359, 10. Thomas Larsen (Den) 1353, 11. Jesper Agerbo (Den) 1349, 12. Dennis Eklund (Swe) 1348, 13. Walter Ray Williams Jr (US) 1348, 14. Chris Barnes (US) 1348, 15. Adrian Ang (Mas) 1343, 16. John Wells (Eng) 1337.
Selected (all Malaysia): 18. Mohd Nur Aiman 1322, 20. Zulmazran 1320, 21. Zandra 1316, 26. Li Jane 1287, 27. Siti Safiyah 1279, 31. Syafiq 1267, 39. Shalin 1229, 41. Esther 1194, 46. Dayang 1167.