Bowling: Change in approach does the trick for Singapore keglers

From left: Jermaine Seah, Charlene Lim, Illiya Syamim and Amabel Chua fly the Singapore flag high on the Coronado Lanes alleys in Manila after capturing a much-coveted team gold.
From left: Jermaine Seah, Charlene Lim, Illiya Syamim and Amabel Chua fly the Singapore flag high on the Coronado Lanes alleys in Manila after capturing a much-coveted team gold.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION

Having missed out on top honours in the singles and doubles at the Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships, the girls' team gold - the one Singapore's keglers had been eyeing - became something they desired even more.

But after a rocky start yesterday during the second block (of three games) at the Coronado Lanes Starmall Edsa in Manila, it seemed, for a moment, that it would be another event that would end in disappointment for the national bowlers.

So the quartet of Iliya Syamim, Amabel Chua, Jermaine Seah and Charlene Lim took their minds off strikes, spares and scores. In enjoying the process, the team also ended up celebrating a team gold.

Their combined 4,745 pinfalls was good enough to beat Asian powerhouses Malaysia and South Korea to the top of the podium, reclaiming a title the Republic last won at the 2010 edition.

Malaysia finished second with 4,687 pinfalls, while Japan were third with 4,660. South Korea, the defending champions, finished fourth.

The biennial tournament is contested by keglers aged 20 and under.

Said Charlene, 18: "We were struggling through the first game, but got together and just tried to enjoy the whole process. We ended up making better moves by the end of the first game.

"We're really happy about the win and it means so much.

"The team gold is the one we've been eyeing throughout the whole tournament. It will give us more confidence to do better in the future, to learn more continuously and get to where our seniors are right now, or even further."

She had partnered Jermaine to the doubles silver on Wednesday, and will progress to the masters today, alongside Amabel.

Amabel, 17, said: "The team event was our priority and winning it together is reward for the hard work and everything we've been through together. We earned this."

Coach Thomas Fox gave his charges credit for their mettle and ability to adapt to unexpected changes.

He said: "We were on a very difficult pair of lanes and we had to make drastic moves and change equipment. That's not something we did during practice or in training.

"The girls bowled their hearts out. Most importantly, they worked together as a team.

"Hopefully it'll inspire them to want to work harder."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Change in approach does the trick for Singapore keglers'. Print Edition | Subscribe