SEA Games 2019

SEA Games: Old hand New wins gold at fourth Games

Bowler credits gym work for first individual title and first success since 2011 team gold

Singapore bowler New Hui Fen pulled away in the fifth game - winning it 235-176 - of the see-saw battle with silver medallist Tannya Roumimper. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Singapore bowler New Hui Fen pulled away in the fifth game - winning it 235-176 - of the see-saw battle with silver medallist Tannya Roumimper.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

New Hui Fen is not new to the SEA Games with three appearances in 2011, 2015 and 2017, so it comes as a surprise that the bowler had never won an individual title.

While she bagged a team gold in Jakarta 2011, personal success proved elusive as she claimed four silvers in the doubles, team and trios in the next two editions.

She finally struck gold yesterday at Manila's Coronado Lanes, scoring 1,372 pinfalls to clinch the Philippines Games' first bowling title.

She was comfortably clear of Indonesia's Tannya Roumimper (1,307) and fellow Singaporean Shayna Ng (1,271). The Republic's Daphne Tan (1,247) was fifth and her older sister Cherie, the defending champion, was 13th on 1,171.

New, 27, said: "I feel really happy and honoured to be flying the Singapore flag so high. I feel good that my hard work paid off.

"After the fourth game, she (Roumimper) was one pin ahead of me. I knew the score at the back of my head but I told myself to focus."

Roumimper's fifth game was a poor 176, though, while New knocked down 235 to pull clear.

Such was New's consistency that she was the only kegler in the 28-participant field without a sub-200 score across six games.

She credited her extra work in the gym for her success on the lanes. After injuring both knees in the last three years, she spent time in rehabilitation and worked on her strength and conditioning.

  • 200 New Hui Fen was the only bowler out of 28 to go above 200 in all six games - 201, 258, 235, 213, 235 and 230.

She added: "It helped build up the muscles so that my joints don't take so much load. I also have more ball speed now."

Singapore Bowling Federation head coach Helmi Chew hailed a "great performance" from the team, as Cheah Ray Han added a men's singles bronze to the haul.

Chew said: "The team is delighted with the results and we win as a team. We will continue to focus on the same processes. Forget about the past and focus on the present."

The taste of gold has clearly whetted New's appetite and she has targeted more titles in her remaining events - women's doubles, mixed doubles, team of four and masters.

She added: "For the guys to win a bronze, this shows we are moving in the right direction.

"The goal is still the same, I am here to win the team gold."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2019, with the headline 'Old hand new wins gold at 4th games'. Print Edition | Subscribe