Shalin, Mun Yee eye more golden mo­ments

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SWIM­MER Nu­rul Huda Ab­dul­lah is re­garded as Malaysia’s most suc­cess­ful ath­lete in the Sea Games hav­ing won a record of 23 gold medals in three edi­tions (1985, 1987 and 1989).

Bowler Shalin Zulk­i­fli and diver Leong Mun Yee may never get to equal or sur­pass Nu­rul’s tally but they are among those who have been suc­cess­ful in the Sea Games.

The duo, who are se­nior mem­bers in the Malaysian con­tin­gent, want to add to their al­ready im­pres­sive tal­lies in what could be their fi­nal out­ing in the bi­en­nial games.

Re­garded as the na­tion’s great­est fe­male bowler, Shalin made her Sea Games de­but in the 1993 Sin­ga­pore edition.

The 39-year-old has won 17 Sea Games ti­tles with her big­gest suc­cess recorded in the 1999 Brunei edition with five gold medals.

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

As for Mun Yee, the four-time Olympian is one of the most dec­o­rated ath­letes in div­ing. The 33year-old made her Sea Games de­but in Jakarta in 1997 as a 13year-old.

Mun Yee, how­ever, did not win a ti­tle until the 2001 edition in Kuala Lumpur. Then, she made a clean sweep of all four gold medals. All in, she has won 15 Sea Games ti­tles in 10 edi­tions.

There could be a friendly duel be­tween Shalin and Mun Yee over gold medals but the former will hold the ad­van­tage as she will be com­pet­ing in all five events (sin­gles, dou­bles, trio, masters and team) in women’s bowl­ing.

Na­tional coach Yang Zhu­liang will en­ter Mun Yee in two events – women’s 10m plat­form syn­chro and team events.

Shalin, who was on the verge of re­tir­ing due to a foot prob­lem in 2015, is rar­ing to make a last­ing im­pres­sion in her eighth Sea Games out­ing.

She leads the women’s squad com­pris­ing PWBA Tour cham­pi­ons Sin Li Jane and Siti Safiyah Ami­rah Ab­dul Rah­man along with Syai­datul Afi­fah Badrul Hamidi, Natasha Roslan and former world sin­gles cham­pion Es­ther Cheah.

A to­tal of 11 gold medals will be on of­fer in bowl­ing at Sun­way Me­galanes in Ban­dar Sun­way on Aug 20-25.

“I am ea­ger and rar­ing for ac­tion in the up­com­ing edition. I can’t wait for com­pe­ti­tion to start.

“I hope to win a medal in ev­ery event I com­pete in, but of course the team event is our prime fo­cus. Ex­pec­ta­tions are high for our bowl­ing team in the Sea Games.

“We have adapted to the lanes and we hope to play at our true abil­ity with Sin­ga­pore be­ing our main ri­val in the women’s com­pe­ti­tion,” said Shalin, who won four gold medals in the 2001 KL edition, where bowl­ing was held in Pe­nang.

Mun Yee, who was not se­lected for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, is cur­rently in Guangzhou, China with 15 other mem­bers to pre­pare for the Sea Games. They will be back on Fri­day.

“This Sea Games will bring me good mem­o­ries of what I had achieved in the 2001 KL edition, where I won four ti­tles.

“Train­ing is go­ing well in Guangzhou and I am ready for the chal­lenge of adding to my gold medal col­lec­tion,” said Mun Yee.

The Sea Games div­ing com­pe­ti­tion is at Na­tional Aquatic Cen­tre in Bukit Jalil on Aug 26-30. Ajit­pal Singh

Leong Mun Yee

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