Quartet knocking on senior team's door By Ajitpal Singh



    Republished courtesy of New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia (Nov. 19, 2008)

    20080613SinLiJane_small.jpg 2008BevidaSyafiqRidhwan_small.jpg Four junior bowlers who are knocking on the door of the senior team, will be out to impress national selectors when they compete in the fourth Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Nov 24-29.

    Muhd Nur Aiman, Syafiq Ridhwan (left), Sin Li Jane (right) and Nur Syakirah Yeoh, who have been impressive throughout the year, will carry the nation's hope in the event.

    National coach Holloway Cheah recently made it clear that he will be relegating several non-performing seniors from the elite squad next year.

    Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) high performance manager Cheah Ban Cheng said the Commonwealth event will be decisive for the four juniors if they hope to make next year's elite squad.

    "Non-performing bowlers have had their chance but several have failed and it's time to make changes," said Ban Cheng on Monday.

    The MTBC has set a target of several medals for the four in Belfast.

    A total of 20 countries, including England and Australia, will be involved in the event.

    "We have opted to send our juniors but that does not mean we are not taking the tournament seriously. They are determined to impress Holloway which means they will push harder.

    "Most of the competing countries are sending their best and it will be interesting to see how our juniors fair against them."

    Of the four, Nur Aiman has been outstanding this year winning gold at the Asian Championships (July) and World Youth (August), while Syafiq is best remembered for winning the Bevida-Storm Classics (Sept).

    Li Jane, the youngest member in the team at 15, was a silver medallist in the Asian Championships while Syakirah Yeoh finished second in the Malaysia Open (March).

    The quartet, together with national junior coach Ben Heng and Ban Cheng, left for Belfast on Monday where 10 gold medals will be on offer.