Bowling: Muhd Danial wins DIBC Open in Dubai as Singapore's male bowlers sweep top-five places

Muhd Danial (centre) finished top ahead of second-placed Timothy Tham (left), Marcus Lim (right).
Muhd Danial (centre) finished top ahead of second-placed Timothy Tham (left), Marcus Lim (right).PHOTO: SINGAPORE BOWLING FEDERATION

SINGAPORE - Singapore's bowlers excelled at the 7th DIBC Open Bowling Tournament 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, claiming the top five places in the men's open division on Saturday (March 30).

Muhd Danial finished top of the pile with a total of 1,855 pinfalls over eight games at the Dubai International Bowling Centre and took home the winner's cheque of 25,000 dirhams (S$9,227).

He finished ahead of second-placed Timothy Tham (1,830), Marcus Lim (1,814), Joel Tan (1,802) and The Straits Times Athlete of the Year Muhammad Jaris Goh (1,780).

Two other Singaporeans, Isaac Ng (1,674) and Ahmad Safwan (1,571), finished 10th and 12th respectively.

Noting that Singaporean bowlers made up half of the 14-strong field in the men's open final, Danial, 23, said: "My teammates did very well, too. To have half the field (in the final) made up of Singaporeans is a huge accomplishment, and to have us all in the top five is a bonus.

"Without the support of Singapore Bowling Federation, our sponsors, my coaches and my teammates, I couldn't have won this competition."

Adding that the DIBC Open was his biggest achievement yet, Danial said: "I didn't put any pressure or expectations on myself, and just bowled one shot at a time.

"After all, I can only control the process, not the outcome."

Singapore's male bowlers have impressed with recent achievements such as a first men's trios medal in 12 years at the Asian Games in Palembang last August and a historic bronze medal at the World Bowling Men's Championships last December.

Only two of the seven finalists at the DIBC Open - Goh and Tan, both 24 - were involved in those feats and this bodes well for the strength in depth of the men's team.

Lim, Ng and Safwan are all 22, while Tham is 21.

Their progress has delighted national team head coach Helmi Chew.

"It was a great performance from the team overall," he said. "This year, we brought a bigger team which consisted of a few younger players who are new to the team.

"The performance from the newer players is a great boost to Singapore bowling as it builds depth in our team which allows us to have a bigger pool for selections."