Silver cheer for Soufi
NATIONAL lawn bowler Soufi Rusli will be one to watch in the future after his cracking run to the men’s World Cup final in Warilla, Australia yesterday.
Although his barnstorming display was brought to a halt by defending champion Jeremy Henry, Soufi may just turn out to be a worthy successor to former world bowls champion and World Cup winner Safuan Said.
Soufi served notice of his potential when he reached the semi-finals of the World Singles Champion of Champions tournament last November in his first major international event.
He continued his fine performance in Warilla despite an opening day defeat to Henry in the preliminary round.
Soufi recovered to win nine of his 12 matches before defeating New Zealand’s former world outdoor champion Ali Forsyth 9-2, 11-6 in the semi-finals yesterday morning.
“The win in the morning gave me the confidence to try to do better in the final,” said Soufi at the Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club. “But everyone knows that Henry is a true champion who knows how to close out matches.
“I already had the silver in hand and I wanted to take home the gold medal for the country and my family. But I will return home now to work on my weaknesses.”
Australian Henry lifted the World Cup title for a fifth time in six years with a 6-5, 11-2 win over Soufi, who was making his debut in the annual tournament.
Soufi was bidding to become the first Malaysian winner of the men’s title since Safuan won in 2008.
Veteran bowler Nor Hashimah Ismail, more accomplished in the fours and triples, produced a surprise run to the semi-finals, where the 45-year-old’s tournament was ended by New Zealand’s Jo Edwards 10-2, 9-5 on Tuesday to settle for a bronze medal.
Jo went on to defeat Lucy Beere of Guernsey 8-5, 2-9, 4-1 in the final yesterday for her fifth World Cup title.
Siti Zalina Ahmad remains the only Malaysian to have won the women’s title in 2015.