Team gold sealed, women eye Masters crown

Singapore bowlers (from right), Shayna Ng, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan celebrating their gold medal yesterday. It was the first SEA Games women's team gold for Singapore since 2011.
Singapore bowlers (from right), Shayna Ng, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan celebrating their gold medal yesterday. It was the first SEA Games women's team gold for Singapore since 2011.PHOTO: SNOC

The nation's bowlers broke an eight-year drought to clinch the SEA Games women's team gold yesterday, but the work is not over for Shayna Ng, New Hui Fen, Daphne Tan and Cherie Tan.

For the Singapore quartet will be aiming to end their campaign on a high in today's Masters event.

Cherie, 31, said: "Today is over. We cannot control what happens (tomorrow) but we are going to focus on the process and grind it out."

They clinched the team title after scoring 4,833 pinfalls at Manila's Coronado Lanes.

Malaysia (4,803) were second, followed by the Philippines (4,735).

Ng added: "It was long-awaited but it was very worth it. We fought all day together and communicated really well as a team.

"We were patient, we were striking and things fell into place for us today.

"It feels good now that we can walk away with the gold medal."

The quartet were also part of the team that last won the gold at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, with Jasmine Yeong-Nathan and Jazreel Tan completing the line-up.

Ng, 30, added: "We understand each other very well.

"We play together every day and so we know what we do well, and also what we don't do so well. (It was) camaraderie that brought us the gold today."

After emerging champions in 2011, the women bowlers were pipped to the gold by Malaysia in both 2015 and 2017.

Yesterday's victory was New's second gold of the Games, but it held more significance to her than the women's singles title on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old said: "The team gold will always be the most important gold to win. I'm very happy that my team get to walk away with the team gold hanging around their necks."

After their victory, Singapore Bowling Federation president Jessie Phua said: "It was redemption time for them. I'm glad that the girls brought it to the finish line.

"With every narrow loss, it brought about stronger determination and they wanted this more than anything else."

The men's team, who were defending champions, failed to retain their title, coming in fifth with 4,652 pinfalls.

Malaysia were this year's winners (4,980), followed by the Philippines (4,937) and Thailand (4,896).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2019, with the headline 'Team gold sealed, women eye Masters crown'. Print Edition | Subscribe