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Malaysia bowlers sweep all three golds

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 2/12/2019 New Straits Times
a group of people playing football on a field: (From left) Afiqah Dayana Budiman, Syafiqa Haidar Afif Abdul Rahman and Nur Ain Nabilah Tarmizi at the Friendship Gate venue, New Clark City yesterday. © Provided by New Straits Times (From left) Afiqah Dayana Budiman, Syafiqa Haidar Afif Abdul Rahman and Nur Ain Nabilah Tarmizi at the Friendship Gate venue, New Clark City yesterday.

Amid Typhoon Tisoy heading their way, Malaysia’s terrific lawn bowlers blew away the opposition yesterday.

They delivered three gold medals within minutes of each other at the Friendship Gate venue, New Clark City.

The women’s fours struck gold first, followed by the men’s triples and women’s pairs.

The players from the three teams celebrated wildly, even though their rivals from the other countries were still playing their rounds on the same pitch.

Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple, Fairus Abdul Jabal and Syamil Syazwan Ramli (men’s triples), Nurul Alyani and Jamil Emma Firyana Jamil (women’s pairs), Afiqah Dayana Budiman, Nur Ain Nabilah Tarmizi, Syafiqa Haidar Afif and Siti Zalina Ahmad (women’s fours) were all on song for Malaysia.

Malaysia’s women’s pairs beat Brunei 21-14, women’s fours beat Philippines 17-6 and men’s triples beat Philippines 14-8.

The conditions at the venue were far from satisfactory, as the sandy pitch with a smattering of grass blew dust into the eyes of the athletes and made it much more difficult to focus.

Siti Zalina Ahmad, 41, a veteran of six Sea Games who has travelled the world playing her favourite sport for 21 years, did not mince her words about the playing conditions.

“I have played bowls around the world, and so I can authoritatively say that this is the worst ever venue I have played on. The strong and sudden gusts of wind brought along fine dust which made our eyes watery.

“It was also difficult to play a tactical game, and we had to throw straight as it was bumpy as well.

“But in the end, we managed to take the venue, as well as the wind, to deliver what we promised.”

In Siti’s team was the youngest lawn bowls player at 19 and in her first Sea Games, Afiqah Dayana Budiman.

Standing at 1.52 metre tall and looking 16, Afiqah was a giant and matched Siti’s vast experience.

“My first Games and gold as well. And I have yet to inform my parents,” said Afiqah.

Malaysia are set to win two more gold tomorrow.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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