Evergreen Shalin a sure bet
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