THE National Lawn Bowls Centre in Bukit Kiara was a virtual gold mine for Malaysia in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Malaysia qualified for all eight finals and won seven golds and a silver (7-1-0).
This is their biggest gold haul since the sport was introduced in Brunei 1999 (4-1-1). They managed 5-1-0 at KL 2001, 3-2-1 (Manila 2005) and 4-1-1 (Korat 2007).
Malaysia Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) president Datuk Wan Nawawi Wan Ismail had set a four-gold target for the KL Games.
But the lawn bowlers surpassed it with flying colours.
“We have accomplished our mission in the SEA Games but that does not mean we can slow down. Work will begin soon to prepare for the World Championships and next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast (Australia),” he said.
Team captain Fairul Izwan Abdul Muin said the emergence of the Philippines at the KL Games surprised everyone. The Philippines won the gold in the men’s fours to end up with a 1-3-2 haul.
The main talking point was Emma Firyana Saroji’s victory over Brunei’s Amali Matali 21-11 to end Malaysia’s jinx in the women’s singles since Brunei 1999 Brunei.
“I’m delighted to win the singles title at home. I will continue to go for bigger goals,” said Emma, who is down to compete in the World Champion of Champions in Sydney in October.