Saturday January 19, 2013
Rafiq marches into International Bowling Challenge final
By SHAMSHUL FITRI
PETALING JAYA: Youngster Mohd Rafiq Ismail is on the verge of creating history after qualifying for the final of the International Bowling Challenge in Nagoya, Japan yesterday.
Showing no signs of nerves despite competing in his first World Bowling Tour event, the 16-year-old Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) special squad trainee kept his cool to finish second after 15 games with 3,536 pinfalls behind American pro Tommy Jones who had a 3,643.
Accompanying Rafiq and Jones in today’s final are American pro Chris Barnes (3,535), Suzuki Hiroki of Japan (3,516) and Sean Rash of United States (3,511).
Today’s final will be played on a elimination format. All all five finalists will bowl one game with the two lowest score being eliminated. Three remaining bowlers will play another game and the bowler with the lowest score will be out leaving the other two to fight for the crown.
Team manager Cheah Ban Cheng said Rafiq kept his composure, even without chief coach Holloway Cheah behind him, to reel in the strikes at the Inazawa Grand Bowl yesterday.
“He was really cool on the approach even without Holloway, who was keeping an eye on Zandra (Aziela) in the women’s competition.
“But the battle is just halfway won. Looking on the bright side, he got nothing to loose in the final tomorrow,” said Ban Cheng.
Other Malaysian bowlers who faltered after 15 games yesterday were Zulmazran Zulkifli in 14th spot (3,366) and Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin in 19th spot on 3,317 pinfalls.
Meanwhile, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi was the only sole representative left for Malaysia in the women’s competition after qualifying for the final in third place on 3,525 pinfalls after 15 games.
After 15 games
Malaysian unless stated)
Men: 1. Tommy Jones (US) 3643, 2. Mohd Rafiq Ismail (Mas) 3536, 3. Chris Barnes (US) 3553, 4. Suzuki Hiroki (Jpn) 3516, 5. Sean Rash (US) 3511.
Selected: 14. Zulmazran Zulkifli 3366, 19, Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin 3317.
Women: 1. Shayna Ng (Sin) 3671, 2. Liz Johnson (US) 3575, 3. Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi 3525, 4. Kelly Kulick (US) 3501, 5. Jazreel Tan (Sin) 3442.
Selected: 6. Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore 3422, 9. Sin Li Jane 3341, 16. Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana 3295.