ALEX TOLD TO RE­LAX

Ke­gler’s des­per­a­tion to make Sea Games squad af­fect­ing his form

New Straits Times - - Sport - AJITPAL SINGH ajit­pals­ingh@nst.com.my

FOR­MER Asian No 1 bowler Alex Liew aims to come full cir­cle in the Sea Games. The 41-year-old made his Sea Games de­but when Kuala Lumpur last hosted it in 2001.

Now, he hopes to be part of the team when the Sea Games re­turn to KL on Aug 19-30.

How­ever, na­tional coach Hol­loway Cheah has some bad news for the bowler.

Alex has been quiet on the lanes since con­tribut­ing one gold medal in the team event at the 2015 edi­tion in Sin­ga­pore and his best show in ‘Open’ events of late was fin­ish­ing run­ner-up in last year’s Thai­land Open in Bangkok.

“Alex is putting in­tense pres­sure on him­self to re­gain his form. He is try­ing too hard and it is af­fect­ing his per­for­mance and chances of get­ting into the Sea Games squad,” Hol­loway told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“Ev­ery­one in the train­ing squad wants to be part of the Sea Games team and it has put them un­der tremen­dous pres­sure to out­wit each other and also per­form in com­pe­ti­tions.”

Alex has com­peted in ev­ery Sea Games since 2001, ex­cept for 2003 (Viet­nam), 2009 (Laos) and 2013 (Myan­mar), where bowl­ing was not con­tested.

The Se­lan­gor-born’s best show­ing in the Sea Games was three gold medals (dou­bles, trios and team) in In­done­sia in 2003.

Hol­loway, how­ever, does not want to give up on Alex.

“Alex does very well in train­ing but fails to per­form in com­pe­ti­tions. I will try my best to help him re­gain his form.

“I am plan­ning to send him for ad­di­tional ses­sions with a psy­chol­o­gist un­der the Na­tional Sports In­sti­tute. I hope it will help him make in­roads. He should stop putting pres­sure on him­self and start en­joy­ing the game again.”

Alex, who won two gold at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, and Rafiq Is­mail were the se­nior bowlers who failed to make the Masters round at the re­cent Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Ban­dar Sun­way.

The bowlers will re­port back to Hol­loway af­ter a short break on Fri­day.

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