Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shalin now a US pro


By Ajitpal Singh

SHALIN Zulkifli created history by becoming the first national bowler to turn professional in the United States.
The 31-year-old Shalin, will play her first professional tournament in the Professional Bowlers’ Association (PBA) West regional event - Camarillo Bowl Open in California, United States, starting on Friday.
The PBA regional tournaments are ranking events for the nationwide women’s Grand Finals in the end of the year.
Only the top ten ranked women bowlers from the regional events will get to compete in the Grand Finals.
Shalin said she was happy to finally realise her dreams of turning professional.
"The Camarillo event will be one of many tournaments, I will be competing in before I report back for national training in the end of next month," said Shalin yesterday.
"My goal in the regional tournaments is to qualify for the grandfinals. However, it will not be easy as I will have to compete against top professionals."
Shalin, who won three gold medals in last year’s Korat Sea Games, will also be using the regional events to fine tune her game before the Asian Championships in Hong Kong on June 2-12.
Shalin has been exempted from the Asian Championships centralised training which starts next month.
Meanwhile, Esther Cheah, who is down for a three month semester break, will compete in her first Asian Tour event for almost a year at the ongoing Singapore Open.
Esther, 22, is currently persuing a degree in psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the United States.
Shalin and Esther are the automatic choices for the national women’s team for the Asian event while World Ranking Masters champions Wendy Chai, Sharon Koh, Zan dra Aziela, Zatil Iman, Choy Poh Lai and Sin Li Jane will be vying for the other four spots in the team.
The team is expected to be named after the Singapore Open.
Zulmazran Zulkifli, Alex Liew, Daniel Lim, Aaron Kong, Adrian Ang, Mohd Noer Said, Syafiq Ridhwan, Zaid Izlan and Nor Aiman are among the contenders for six spots in the men’s team.
Meanwhile, in the Singapore Open, Zandra Aziela leads the women’s qualifliers on 902 followed by Sharon Koh 901 and Singapore’s Veleria Teo (896).
Zatil Iman is the women’s defending champion.
The national men bowlers have yet to roll off in the event.

Double whammy for T'gganu


By Devinder Singh

HOSTS Terengganu have been dealt a harsh hand after being drawn with the defending champions in both the men's and women's hockey at the Malaysia Games.
But the Terengganu men's team will still pose a formidable challenge to 2006 winners the Federal Territories and Negri Sembilan in the preliminary rounds having finished third in the recent National Under-21 championship.
That team will be the same that lines up when the hockey competition begins on Saturday with Terengganu Hockey Association honorary secretary Saberi Salleh expecting to claim a few scalps.
"Their performance was improved significantly which could give us hope of winning the gold medal on home soil. The National Under-21 tournament has shown what this team are capable of," he said.
Malacca, who emerged winners of that tournament after whipping Penang 8-0 in the final in January, will also fancy their chances having been drawn with Selangor, Perak and Brunei in Group C.
The Terengganu women's team have Sarawak, the gold medallists of two years ago, Pahang and Kedah for company in Group A.
But it is in Group B where the most closely contested battles will be fought where traditional hockey powerhouses Selangor, FT, Penang and Perak will all jostle for the two semi-final spots.
In the last Games in Kedah, FT won the men's hockey gold after beating Johor 4-1 while Sarawak took the women's gold after overcoming Penang 3-2.
The men's competition will be held at the Gong Badak Sports Complex while the women will play at the MBKT Stadium in Batu Burok.
DRAW - Men's Group A: Federal Territories, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu; Group B: Johor, Kedah, Sarawak; Group C: Selangor, Malacca, Perak, Brunei; Group D: Penang, Kelantan, Pahang, Perlis.
Women's Group A: Sarawak, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah; Group B: Penang, Perak, Selangor, Johor, Federal Territoties.

Selangor whip Negri

SELANGOR demolished Negri Sembilan 5-1 in Group A of the National Under-16 tournament in Alor Star yesterday.
Group A, with only three teams in it, will now have to wait for the Perak-Negri match on Thursday to confirm the two quarter-finalists.
Negri need to beat Perak by 4-0 to qualify for the last eight, and this score will also drag Selangor along.
Suhaimi Awang nailed a hat-trick in the fifth, 24th and 54th minutes, while the other Selangor scorers were Abdul Rashid (43rd) and Shahrul Dennis (50th). The Negri goal was scored by Kavin Kartik (32nd).
RESULTS: Group A: Selangor 5 Negri Sembilan 1; Group B: Terengganu 12 Kedah 0; Group C: Pahang 2 Sabah 2; Group D: Kelantan 7 Sarawak 0.
TODAY: Group C: Singapore v Pahang (8am); Group D: Malacca v Kelantan (5pm); Group B: Perlis v Terengganu.


Group A
P W D L F A Pts
Perak 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
Selangor 2 1 0 1 5 4 3
Negri 1 0 0 1 1 5 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Johor 2 2 0 0 8 2 6
Terengganu 2 1 0 1 13 2 3
Perlis 2 0 1 1 3 8 1
Kedah 2 0 2 0 2 14 1

Group C
P W D L F A Pts
KL 2 2 0 0 8 2 6
Singapore 2 1 0 1 16 4 3
Pahang 2 0 1 1 2 6 1
Sabah 2 0 1 1 2 16 1

Group D
P W D L F A Pts
Penang 2 2 0 0 13 2 6
Sarawak 2 1 0 1 4 7 3
Kelantan 2 1 0 1 9 8 3
Malacca 2 0 0 2 0 9 0