Siti Zalina Ahmad is the old lady of lawn bowls, who says her life is all about the game. She is also the golden lady of the sport.
The 40-year-old policewoman has never failed to deliver medals in competitions.
The Perak-born Siti is the longest serving athlete in Malaysian lawn bowls and has represented the country for the last 22 years and she is still hungry for more success.
Her best achievement since she took up lawn bowls in 1995 was winning bronze in the women’s singles at the world championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2008. Her dream, though, is to become world champion and she plans to keep trying until she gets it right.
She has done exceptionally well in the Commonwealth Games by bagging three golds – singles golds twice in the 2002 London and 2006 Manchester Games – and one more in the pairs at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
In Australia, she partnered Emma Firyana Saroji by coming back from the brink of defeat to upset defending champions Nicolene Neal and Colleen Piketh of South Africa 15-14.
The Malaysian duo were trailing 3-12 in the final before the dramatic fightback.
Siti will be featuring in her sixth SEA Games, aiming to add to her three gold-two silver haul so far.
She won her first gold in fours at the 1999 Brunei Games and repeated the feat in KL in 2001. Her third gold came in Kuala Lumpur two years ago, partnering Emma.
She also bagged the singles silver twice, in Manila in 2005 and Korat in 2007.
There will be no singles event in the Philippines SEA Games and Siti will compete in the triples with Nur Ain Nabilah Tarmizi and Zuraini Khalid.
Siti said her life has been all about lawn bowls.
“I love the sport which I took up 24 years ago. I train six days a week and watch videos to learn new things on how to improve my game.
“I have helped Malaysia win medals in competitions but my dream is to become a world champion one day, ” said Siti.
“I will continue to represent Malaysia until I win the world title. Lawn bowls is a sport in which you get better with age.
“I will continue to train and represent Malaysia in many more competitions to come. But my goal next year is to focus on the world championships in Gold Coast, Australia (May 23- June 7), ” said Siti.
For now, she will focus on the SEA Games to win her fourth gold in the triples.
Siti added that they have been training on grass as the competition in the Philippines is expected to be on grass.
“It does not matter whether we compete on synthetics or on grass. We are ready to play on either pitch.
“We did well to win seven golds and one silver in the KL SEA Games two years ago and we hope to win five of the six golds offered in the Philippines, ” she said.
Siti is, in fact, looking past the Philippines. She hopes the sport will be hosted in the 2021 edition in Hanoi, Vietnam, as she wants to continue delivering medals for the country.
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