Syafiq Creates History At QubicaAMF World Cup 2012

Story courtesy of Rajes Paul-StarSports

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia finally completed the collection of all the major bowling titles in the world, thanks to Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek.

The 26-year-old, who reached the men’s step-ladder finals by the skin of his teeth, bowled the match of his life to beat top seed Marshall Kent of the United States 236-225, 237-221 in the final to clinch the prestigious AMF World Cup crown in Wroclaw, Poland, on Saturday.

Malaysia came close twice in the championships. The late Michael Chuah was placed second in the men’s category in Mexico ‘83. In the women’s section, Shalin Zulkifli’s best show was second in Belfast ‘96.

Earlier in the semi-finals, the Malaysian, who grabbed the third and last spot to the step-ladder finals, recovered spectacularly to gain a sweet revenge over second-placed Andres Gomez with a 234-236, 224-201, 258-213 triumph. Syafiq was beaten by the Colombian in a knockout round in last year’s World Singles Championships in Cyprus.

Kent was bidding to be the 10th American to win the title in the 48th edition of the championships. But Syafiq, who lost his luggage and bowling balls when he arrived in Wroclaw, had other ideas. The Malaysian put up a composed performance to win by two games.

Syafiq was obviously on top of the world.

“I was confident of winning the title when I qualified for the final. It has been a long week. The omen was not good, losing my luggage and bowling equipment. But I did not let that distract me and spoil my good run,” said Syafiq, who celebrated his birthday last Tuesday.

“I did not put undue pressure on myself. My motivation was very high as I kept talking positively to remind myself not to slip up at this crucial stage,” he added.

Syafiq paid tribute to chief coach Holloway Cheah for his invaluable advice, especially in changing equipment when the lane conditions became difficult.

“Holloway played a key role in my success. He advised me to make a ball change in the final game in the semi-finals which turned out to be the turning point,” he said.

“I am glad that everything went well in the end and Malaysia have finally won the World Cup. This is a great day and Wroclaw will always be close to my heart.”

Holloway was full of praise for Syafiq.

“Syafiq was simply excellent throughout the week. We had a long trip to Wroclaw because of bad weather. On top of that, we lost our luggage and equipment. It was a taxing journey but it turned out brilliantly for us in the end. Now, we have a World Cup champion and Sin Li Jane finishing a creditable fifth in the women’s section,” said Holloway.

To add icing on the cake, Malaysia also won the Bent Petersen Cup for the best-combined efforts of their male and female bowlers in the championships.

It turned out to be an all-South East Asian affair as Shayna Ng of Singapore emerged triumphant in the women’s category. She became the second Singaporean to win the title when she defeated Kirsten Penny of England 246-215, 231-191 in the final.

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