Monday January 14, 2013
Bowler Syafiq goes for his fourth straight win in Nagoya
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
PETALING JAYA: Reigning World Cup champion Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek has the chance to make it four wins out of four in the International Bowling Championships, which begin in Nagoya, Japan, today.
The 27-year-old grabbed the Taiwan International Open and World Cup crown in November last year before capping the year with the Penang Pesta International Open title in December.
Although the in-form Syafiq has what it takes to win another crown, national chief coach Holloway Cheah thinks he has just as much chance as anyone else.
“I admit that Syafiq has been consistent thus far. But in bowling, you can’t expect to win everything. In fact, I’m not surprised if he doesn’t win the title in Nagoya,” said Holloway.
Syafiq will enter the competition in Nagoya with other national elite bowlers Alex Liew, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin, Aris Ardila Santosoh and Isaac Russell Paul.
Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, Shalin Zulkifli, Sin Li Jane, Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore, Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana and Esther Cheah make up the women’s team.
The only exception in the squad is 16-year-old Mohd Rafiq Ismail, who is a trainee in the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) special squad.
Holloway is giving the youngster a taste of competing against the professionals as the Nagoya meet is the fourth leg of the World Bowling Tour.
For Syafiq, the pragmatic approach by Holloway, is exactly the right tonic to keep him on his toes.
“No one tournament in the world is the same as another. No matter how many titles you win, you have to re-focus again when you enter a new tournament if you want to keep on winning,” said Syafiq.