Veteran lawn bowler Siti Zalina leads local charge in Asia Pacific meet


National lawn bowler Siti Zalina Ahmad (right) speaking to her team captain Nor Hashima Ismail during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Seasoned campaigner Siti Zalina Ahmad will lead Malaysia’s challenge in the 10th Sime Darby Asia Pacific Merdeka Lawn Bowls Championships at the Bayuemas Indoor Bowls Stadium in Pandamaran, Klang, beginning on Thursday.

The two-time Commonwealth Games women’s singles champion is still on a high after winning the World Cup singles crown at the Warilla Bowls Club in Sydney in April - defeating Scotland’s Julie Forrest 11-4 12-5 in the final.

Malaysia Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) secretary Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Zin said Siti had made progress since losing in the preliminary rounds of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“Siti has put that Glasgow setback behind her ... we hope she will maintain her good form from the World Cup,” said Syed Zainal.

The 35-year-old policewoman won the Commonwealth Games gold medals in Manchester (2002) and Melbourne (2006). She has also won six Asian titles.

Sixteen countries will compete in the Asia Pacific Merdeka meet in four events – men’s singles, women’s singles, mixed pairs and mixed fours. The countries are Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The other Malaysian women competitors are Norhashimah Ismail and Emma Firyana Saroji. The men’s team comprise seasoned hands Mohd Hizlee Rais, Mohd Fairul Izwan Muin and Mohd Fairus Jabal.
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