Going into the final day of the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, the odds looked to be in national bowler Bernice Lim's favour.
The 24-year-old had put up a consistent showing all week in Shanghai, maintaining a steady lead at the top of the table over some of the world's best.
And with Singapore's last two titles at this tournament having come at four-year gaps (won by Jasmine Yeong-Nathan in 2008 and Shayna Ng in 2012), the stage looked set for another famous win.
But Lim settled for third place yesterday after falling at the stepladder semi-finals, beaten 227-204 by eventual champion Jenny Wegner of Sweden.
The adoption of a new format in the stepladders - where keglers compete in a single-game elimination format rather than best-of-three - meant there was little room for error.
A split in the sixth frame, in particular, cost Lim. The stepladders were also held in a new environment, with organisers building two lanes in a multi-purpose sports hall at the Luwan Sports Complex over two days. The qualifying rounds were played at the Hao's Bowling Centre, also within the compound.
"It's my first time bowling in such an arena, it was quite overwhelming at first. I was quite nervous," Lim told The Sunday Times in a phone interview from Shanghai.
"The lanes played slightly differently, and the environment was different as well."
National coach Jason Yeong-Nathan said Lim had performed well to maintain her focus and a high level of play through the 36 games played before the stepladders.
He said: "We won't use (the different venue) as an excuse and say we didn't perform as a result of that because everyone had to deal with it.
"Bernice struggled a little on the left lane. But her focus and preparation for the tournament were fantastic, she never gave up and she kept finding different answers every day to get better."
Victory would have meant a rare feat of two major titles within a season. Lim lifted the USBC Queens title in May, a Major on the Professional Women's Bowling Association tour.
Said Lim: "I bowled really well all week. To bowl one game and lose the chance is disappointing of course, but there's nothing I can do. It's unfortunate but it's sport, I guess. I gave my best all week so that's what I'm thankful for."