Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bowling: Sharon snares title in Macau

PETALING JAYA: Inspiring words in the locker room did the trick for bowler Sharon Koh to nail a first Open this year in Macau yesterday.
Sharon brought cheers to the Malaysian camp when she staged a strong comeback to move six rungs up to qualify for the six-woman stepladder Finals as the top qualifier.
And she continued her fine run, beating Indonesia’s experienced bowler Putty Armein convincingly (235-159) in the final showdown of the elimination stage.
It was the second consecutive Open title for Malaysia. Last month, Sin Li Jane emerged as the Singapore Open champion.
Strong finish: National bowler Sharon Koh posing with her trophy after winning the Macau Open.
Just a day ago, Sharon was struggling to even make the top six after the first block of eight games.
The 23-year-old was happy to bring out the better side of her, especially after a pep talk by national chief coach Holloway Cheah and team manager Cheah Ban Cheng.
“I did not do so well in the first block but the team officials had a talk with us. They did their best to psyche us up. The motivational talk worked well for me,” said a delighted Sharon in a telephone interview from Macau.
“I was able to find the lines today, especially against Putty. She was struggling a bit but I stayed focused to win the title for Malaysia.
“I last won a title in Singapore last year and I am happy that I have one to show this year too.”
Besides Sharon, seasoned campaigner Wendy Chai also made the top six cut but she crashed out in the opening round match of the stepladder Finals after knocking down 174 pins.
Sharon hoped that her strong performances in Macau would raise her chances to be in the team for the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November.
“My search for a first Open title this year has ended. Hopefully, this result will strengthen my chances of making the Asiad squad. I will continue to do well,” she said.
There was no double joy for Malaysia with Zulmazran Zulkifli and Adrian Ang failing to come good in the men’s stepladder Finals.
It was a big disappointment, especially for overnight leader Zulmazran, who had been chasing for an elusive title this year after several near misses. He also crashed out in the Singapore Open after taking the lead during the Masters qualifying round.
However, Ban Cheng was impressed with the men’s bowlers’ show of determination throughout the competition.
He said that their performances augured well for the men’s world championships, which will be held in Munich from Aug 12-21.

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