Female bowlers rebound in style with 1-2 trios finish

After performing poorly in doubles, S'pore women finish 1-2 in trios

ONE of the undeniable beauties of sport is the presentation of second chances to correct mistakes.

For some, it could take a four-year Olympic cycle or longer to right past wrongs. For those more fortunate, like bowlers Cherie Tan, Bernice Lim and Shayna Ng, the opportunity to make amends arrived within 24 hours.

They, and the rest of Singapore's women bowlers, had bowled poorly in Wednesday's doubles event, but rebounded in yesterday's trios to finish first and second.

The threesome of Tan, Lim and Ng led from start to finish in the six-game, six-hour competition and combined for 3,963 pinfalls.

They finished a massive 256 pins ahead of compatriots Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen and Jazreel Tan, while Marie Alexis Sy, Maria Arles and Lara Posadas of the Philippines were third with a score of 3,608.

It was a statement of intent delivered by the Republic to their SEA Games rivals, particularly after the setback on Wednesday when all three pairings struggled with the oiling patterns and several of them posted scores lower than 160.

All six local women made alterations to their bowling balls before returning to the Orchid Country Club and this resulted in vast improvements to their scores.

None of them averaged below 203 pinfalls yesterday while Cherie, Lim and Ng were the only team among 11 competing trios to record combined scores of over 600 for each of the six games.

Said Lim, who earned her maiden Games medal: "After what happened yesterday, it was important that we fought back and won today."

Added 2012 World Cup winner Ng: "Maybe we were a bit complacent after the singles on Tuesday (Singapore filled five of the top-six positions) but we definitely learnt from that experience."

Having reasserted their authority over arch-rivals Malaysia, who won the women's doubles title but only managed fourth and ninth in the trios, the Singaporeans remain confident of retaining their team title today and the masters crown on Sunday.

Said Cherie, who won three golds but also suffered narrow defeats in the doubles and trios events at the 2011 Games: "It was a big result for us in the trios and hopefully we can get into a good lead tomorrow and build on it."

Momentum is another vital ingredient in sport and there is plenty of it within the men's camp after their third medal of the biennial Games.

Singles bronze medallist Javier Tan and surprise doubles champions Howard and Keith Saw notched 3,656 pinfalls for an unexpected trios silver. They were only 45 pins shy of victors Rafiq Ismail, Ahmad Muaz and Timmy Tan of Malaysia.

Said Javier: "It proves the gold wasn't a fluke, that we can do it repeatedly and tomorrow in the team event we can definitely fight for more medals again."

Singapore and Malaysia have split the six golds so far, each with three. The hosts have also bagged three silvers and a bronze against Malaysia's three bronzes in the race to be the region's top bowling nation.

jonwong@sph.com.sg

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