Home turf helps Ismail combat pins

Para-bowler captures two golds to put Singapore second in series standings after first of three legs

Ismail Hussain won two gold medals at the first leg of the inaugural World Para Bowling Tour Series in Singapore.
Ismail Hussain won two gold medals at the first leg of the inaugural World Para Bowling Tour Series in Singapore.PHOTO: ALFIE LEE/SDSC

Nerves and stress are part and parcel of an athlete's journey in any competition, and can make or break that person.

But Singapore para-bowler Ismail Hussain was able to count on vital home support to calm his nerves while he was competing at the Micron Singapore World Para Bowling Tour Series 2018, which ended yesterday at SingaporeBowling @ Rifle Range.

"I always give myself pressure to win, but my friends and family were around during the tournament and their cheering made it less stressful for me," said the 34-year-old, who won the TPB 3 men's singles and Masters golds at the three-day tournament.

"Sometimes I couldn't see them but their voices calmed me down a bit."

More than 50 para-athletes from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei competed, with the Republic placing second with four golds, three silvers and four bronzes.

Malaysia topped the medal chart with seven golds, eight silvers and five bronzes in the first leg of the new bowling series.

It was the first time the Republic had hosted a para-bowling tournament on such a scale.

Hong Kong (March 27-31) and Kuching, Malaysia (July 31-Aug 5) will host the remaining two legs of the series.

Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) president Kevin Wong hailed the event as "a success", adding that they are "definitely looking at carrying on hosting the tournament again".

He said: "It gives our para-bowlers more opportunities to compete with bowlers from around the region, and their results give us the comparative data for selections for major tournaments.

"It is also an efficient use of funding, rather than to send a smaller number of athletes overseas, a bigger number of athletes can take part in events such as this locally, with the event also generating publicity and therefore public awareness here."

Ismail added: "This tournament is an eye-opener for the public, and hopefully more people and sponsors will support events such as these, which would make more people aware of para-sports here."

Wong also revealed that he will be bringing back the Singapore Boccia Open in May, after a 10-year hiatus, and is aiming to achieve similar results to the bowling event.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2018, with the headline 'Home turf helps Ismail combat pins'. Subscribe