SINGAPORE - Singapore Bowling will be dispatching its big guns for the Aug 18-Sept 2 Asian Games but reigning Sportswoman of the Year New Hui Fen will not be making the trip to Palembang, Indonesia.
The national sports association announced the 12-strong squad on Tuesday (July 3) following a series of selection trials.
For the women's squad, only one change has been made to the six-member line-up that won the team gold at the last edition, with 2018 AIK International Tournament champion Bernice Lim making her Games debut and replacing New, who is also the 2017 Bowler of the Year.
The other five are the newly crowned Singapore International Open champion and runner-up Jazreel Tan, Joey Yeo, Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan and Daphne Tan.
Said Jazreel, Singapore's most bemedalled athlete at the 2014 Asiad: "There will definitely be pressure on the whole team to do well. We've put in a lot of hard work over the last year to ensure everyone hones their game. I hope it pays off at the Asian Games."
Singapore's bowlers won one gold, two silvers and a bronze at the 2014 Games in Incheon, South Korea.
The men's team comprises four of the 2017 SEA Games team gold medallists in Muhammad Jaris Goh, Cheah Ray Han, Darren Ong and Basil Ng. They will be joined by Jonovan Neo and Alex Chong in Palembang. All are making their Asiad debuts except for Goh, who featured in the 2014 edition.
"My second-place finish in Hong Kong is definitely a confidence-booster. Although I am taking part in my first Asian Games, the competition is with myself and it's about how I can rise to the occasion," said Ong, the runner-up in last Saturday's Hong Kong International Open.
A new scoring format will be in place for the 2018 Asiad. At the brand-new Jakabaring Bowling Centre in Palembang, a strike will be worth 30 points, while a spared frame is worth 10 points plus the number of pins felled in the first roll.
This differs from the conventional format, under which points for a strike are 10 plus the total of a bowler's next two rolls, and a spare is 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down in the next shot.
The slate of events has also been halved from six to three, with organisers dropping the singles, doubles and all-events segments.
Singapore Bowling president Jessie Phua said the association has afforded the national bowlers "a lot more space" to develop through overseas exposure leading up to the Games.
"Our girls are medal contenders and we are looking to them to fly the Singapore flag high.
"For our guys, they are up against tough competition. I told them to bowl without pressure and expectations and do the best they can! Let them surprise us," she added.