Ev­er­green Shalin a sure bet

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SHALIN Zulk­i­fli is not done yet with bowl­ing.

The 39-year-old will make her eighth ap­pear­ance in the Sea Games on Aug 19-31, where she will be counted on to lead the women’s team to glory in what could be her fi­nal out­ing in the bi­en­nial event.

For the record, Shalin has won a to­tal of 17 Sea Games ti­tles since mak­ing her de­but in the 1993 Sin­ga­pore edi­tion. Her big­gest suc­cess in a sin­gle edi­tion was five gold medals in 1999 in Brunei.

She opted out of the 2005 and 2011 edi­tions while bowl­ing was not held in 2003, 2009 and 2013.

Shalin, who was on the verge of re­tir­ing due to a nag­ging foot prob­lem in 2015, along with Sin Li Jane and for­mer world cham­pion Es­ther Cheah have guar­an­teed their spots, bar­ring in­juries, fol­low­ing im­pres­sive per­for­mances over the last 12 months.

The other three Sea Games spots will be a toss be­tween seven other bowlers in the women’s team.

“We have lined up sev­eral tour­na­ments for the bowlers ahead of the dead­line in June to name our 12-mem­ber squad (six men and six women). The bowlers will be as­sessed on sev­eral as­pects,” Malaysian Ten­pin Bowl­ing Congress (MTBC) sec­re­tary Ge­orge Tan yes­ter­day.

“Li Jane, Es­ther and Shalin are our most im­pres­sive women bowlers and they cur­rently hold an ad­van­tage over the rest for spots in the team.

“Shalin is a re­spected bowler and I am happy that she has been per­form­ing well. She is a nat­u­ral leader and an in­spi­ra­tional figure to the other bowlers, and these fac­tors will add depth into our Sea Games cam­paign.”

Na­tional cham­pion Timmy Tan, Ah­mad Muaz Fishol and Rafiq Is­mail are the top three per­form­ers in the men’s squad for spots in the Sea Games.

The other five, in­clud­ing vet­er­ans Alex Liew and Zul­mazran Zulk­i­fli, must fight for the other three spots.

The bowlers will next be in ac­tion in the Thai­land Open on April 5-15 in Bangkok. Ajitpal Singh

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