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Natasha keeps her cool to maintain lead

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 National kegler Natasha Roslan kept her cool to maintain her overnight lead to finish the first stage of 24 games to advance to the second stage of the QubicaAMF 55th Bowling World Cup at Palembang, Indonesia, today.

The almost freezing conditions at the Jakabaring Bowling Centre certainly had no effect on her performance as she reeled off scores of 203, 205, 212, 201 and despite a 192 on her fifth game, she went on to finish with a bang with her highest for the day and three days with 235 for a total of 5,016 pinfalls.

The 23-year-old’s previous high game was 234 on the first day, also in her last game eight. Only the top 24 keglers are able to bowl in the second stage.

The United States’ Kelly Kulick finished second with a total of 4,958 pinfalls, 58 pins behind Natasha, while Dominican Republic’s Aumi Guerra and Russia’s Maria Koshel were tied on 4,896 for third and fourth places respectively.

Wary of the challengers’ ability to turn the tables on her in the upcoming stage, the debutant said it is important for her to remain focused and execute her shots well and consistently.

It is great that I have remained consistent for the last three days. Qualifying as the top in 24 is a bonus because current positions mean nothing. There is still another stage of eight games tomorrow, where it is important to finish among the top eight to move to the next stage.

The fact that the scores from the previous stage are carried forward gives me only a slight advantage. I still have to bowl well, so I rather not get excited over the current situation and take each day as it comes.

Then the following next stage on Saturday is crucial, as we will bowl a further 8 games league style, round robin with bonus points (30 pins for a win, 15 pins for a tie, 0 pin for a loss), for a 40-game total pinfall including bonus points, to decide the top 4 qualifiers to go forward to fourth stage, she said in a statement from the organisers.

As Natasha was once again sailing with ease as many of the bowlers were having problems to score consistently, coach Ben Heng said she bowled simple without much hook, so her lines are easier to maintain.

This type of bowling helps in the women’s category as the lanes don’t get burnt down like in the men’s categories. Some of the women who were having problems were hook bowlers who had to make adjustments to the lane, he said.

Results (Top 24 qualifiers)

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1. Natasha Roslan (MAS) 5016; 2. Kelly Kulick (USA) 4954; 3. Maria Koshel (Rus) 4896; 4. Aumi Guerra (Dominican Rep) 4896; 5. Jeon Eunhee (S. Korea) 4875; 6. Nadine Geissier (Ger) 4845; 7. Stephanie Martina (Brazil) 4831; 8. Catherine Durieux (Belgium) 4786; 9. Rebecca Whiting (Australia) 4752; 10, Karen Marcano (Venezuela) 4731; 11. Tania Yusal (Scotland) 4666; 12. Fiona Liew (Singapore) 4656; 13. Jessica Atan-Chan (Costa Rica) 4655; 14. Shinta Ceysaria Yunita (Indonesia) 4640; 15, Lindsey Paling (Netherlands) 4590; 16. Isabel Allen ( England) 4577; 17. Felica Wong (Canada) 4575; 18. Sanna Pasanen (Finland) 4570; 19. Krizziah Lyn Tabora (Philippines) 4560; 20. Edith Quintanilla (El Salvador) 4549; 21. Yumi Yuzuriha (Peru) 4527; 22. Chan Shuk Han (Hong Kong) 4524; 23. Alja Bergauer (Slovenia) 4502; 24. Amandine Jacques (France) 4488

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Hamidin confident U-22 football squad will do well at 2019 SEA Games

SUBANG JAYA, Nov Malaysian Football Association (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin is confident that the national Under-22 (U-22) football squad coached by Datuk Ong Kim Swee will perform well at the 2019 SEA Games

The performance of the lineup throughout the training camp which began on Nov 4, as well as a string of positive results in friendly matches, have convinced Hamidin that Kim Swee is the right man to take the team to glory in the Philippines next month.

“This also provides an opportunity to every player to prove his ability,” he said after witnessing the squad’s training session at the Subang Jaya Municipal Stadium (MPSJ) here today.

During the training session, the U-22 squad recorded 3-0 and 2-0 friendly victories over Northen Territory FC and Western Australia FC respectively.

Kim Swee had also coached the squads that won the gold in the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, and silver in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur.

Drawn into Group A, Malaysia will begin their campaign against Myanmar on Monday, followed by the Philippines (Nov 29), Timor Leste (Dec 2) and Cambodia (Dec 4). All matches will be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Flag bearer Muhammad Rafiq all pumped up to shine

BANGI, Nov Elite kegler Muhammad Rafiq Ismail’s selection as the Malaysian team’s flag-bearer at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines has given him a boost in his quest for gold.

The 2018 World Championships men’s singles champion said he was thrilled to be selected to carry the Jalur Gemilang national flag from among the 773 athletes in the Malaysian contingent.

“I am proud to be carrying the Malaysian flag at the SEA Games and this has motivated me to do well in Manila,” he said when met by reporters after the flag handover ceremony in conjunction with the Malaysian contingent’s final assembly for the 2019 SEA Games at Hotel Tenera here today.

The ceremony was officiated by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

Muhammad Rafiq aims to win at least one gold in the four events he would be taking part in.

The Kuala Lumpur-born kegler will participate in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team events.

“I am aiming for gold in the team event, but getting (gold) in other events would be a bonus for me. I don’t want to put pressure on myself and I want to remain focused, he said, adding that the presence of Shalin Zulkifli would spur him to perform well at the games.

Muhammad Rafiq said the country’s tenpin bowling squad is now actively training at the Bowling Centre, Endah Parade shopping mall as the lanes and “oiling pattern” there are very similar to the EDSA Shaw Starmall Bowling Centre in Manila, the venue for the bowling events from Dec 3-8.

He added that the country’s bowling team will depart for Manila on Nov 29 to adjust to the venue.

Muhammad Rafiq won three gold and one silver medals at the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore, but won two golds and one silver at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

KIP finishes fourth in first outing on Moto3

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov Malaysia’s Khairul Idham Pawi who marked his return to riding for the first time since August, finished fourth in his 2020 Moto3 World Championship pre-season test at the Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit, yesterday.

The 21-year-old-rider who is making his switch back to the Moto3 class with Petronas Sprinta Racing completed 58 laps with a best time of one minute 58.333 seconds despite suffering a pair of small falls which he overcame to continue riding unhurt.

“It’s my first outing on a Moto3 bike in a long time and after a long recovery from injuries, but it’s been great to see the team again and get back to riding.

“My finger feels a little strange, but I’ve had no problems with it when I get on the bike. Conditions were very slippery and windy, which made it difficult, so hopefully it’s a little better tomorrow,” he said in a statement today.

The Perak born rider noted that he would take some time for him to adjust the riding style from Moto2 to suit a much lighter bike with less power in Moto3 class.

“I improved my lap time every time I left the garage, and there’s still lots left to find. The bike is completely different to a Moto2 bike, and it’s taken some time to adjust my riding style back to suit a much lighter bike with less power.

“It was good to be able to work with John; he helped me out and following him around sped me up,” he added.

Meanwhile, his teammate John McPhee ended the session in third after completing 60 laps in the wet conditions with a lap time of 1:56.688s, 0.454s from the fastest rider.

Despite heavy rain all day, McPhee has utilised the time to work on refining his electronics settings with his crew.

“We made the most of the wet track time to try and improve the bike’s electronics, and I think we took a lot from the day. We made a big step forward and I felt really good despite only having wet track time.

“It’s always nice to find an improvement in any area, even if it’s only a small one, and we’ll be ready to ride tomorrow if the track is dry. We’ve made positive changes, we’ve completed lots of laps, and we’re already focusing on a strong 2020 season,” he added.

Andrea Migno of Sky Racing Team VR46 clocked the fastest lap of 1:56.234s and followed by Tony Arbolino of VNE Snipers came in second with 0.261s behind.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Cheng Hoe craves a win over Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 The string of successes chalked up by the Harimau Malaya squad in several matches prior to this has clearly boosted the spirit of its chief coach, Tan Cheng Hoe who is hunting for a positive outcome over Indonesia at the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifying round at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, tomorrow night.

The 51-year-old coach conceded that a win over the Garuda squad would be a most meaningful ending for him this season, but he was still vigilant at the threat posed by the opposition team following four consecutive losses at the current qualifying campaign.

”Tomorrow’s match is our last this year, and we want to get a positive result. Despite having beaten Indonesia 3-2 at an action prior to this (away match), the match tomorrow will be different because Indonesia will be lined by several new faces and coach,” he told a pre-match media conference here today.

For the record, Malaysia shocked the 116th world ranking team, Tajikistan 1-0 at a friendly action on Nov 9, before beating Thailand 2-1 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, five days later.

In the meantime, Cheng Hoe regarded the influx of local supporters who were expected to fill the venue tomorrow night, would give additional tonic to the players in giving their best performance on their own turf after trouncing Thailand at the qualifying round at the same venue.

Asked on the absence of two pillars, namely, striker, Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad and right back, Matthew Davies who missed the action against Thailand, Cheng Hoe was confident the existing line-up could shoulder the task.

Muhammad Syafiq and Matthew were suspended for one match after collecting two yellow cards at two qualifying rounds against Vietnam and Thailand prior to this.

Sharing the same view was national squad midfielder, Shahrul Mohd Saad who revealed his team mates in the defensive position had started to become compatible at the action against Thailand, and was confident it could be conjured once again when they face Indonesia tomorrow.

”Although, we succeeded in getting goals in several matches prior to this, but what I told my team mates is to prevent our goal from being penetrated. I hope in the match tomorrow, not only the defenders, but also all players, will be more focused,” said the Perak team captain.

Malaysia is now in fourth place in Group G with six points while Indonesia failed to collect any point after four matches.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Mat Yo ready to step in role against Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 With the absence of top striker Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad due to a one-match suspension, another lethal national striker, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha is ready to step into his role when the national squad host Indonesia in the second round of the World Cup 2022 /Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers at the National Stadium, in Bukit Jalil tomorrow night.

The Pahang forward who is fondly called Mat Yo, revealed that he is prepared to deliver when possible in the match and brightens Malaysia’s hopes of clinching an automatic ticket to the finals of the Asian Cup 2023 in China.

Muhammad Syafiq confirmed he would be missing the Indonesian match after picking up his second yellow card in the qualifying round matches against Vietnam and Thailand.

“For me, the morale of the squad is quite good after we defeated Tajikistan (friendly match) and Thailand (qualifying round), it is just that we should not become complacent tomorrow evening.

Indonesia is one of the strong teams which we should not take lightly and we need to keep our focus in the entire match to survive, he said when met by reporters during the squad training session at the venue today.

Commenting further, the Besut boy stressed that that Harimau Malaya should not let complacence creep in as the visitors would be seeking to avenge their 2-3 loss in the opening Group G match in Jakarta on Sept 5.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Garuda not intimidated of Harimau Malaya roars in Bukit Jalil

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 The huge support expected for Harimau Malaya in the match against Indonesia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow night for the second qualifying round for World Cup 2022 / Asian Cup 2023, has clearly not rattle Indonesia’s temporary manager Yeyen Tumena.

The former Indonesian national player who took over from Simon McMenemy after his sacking by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) recently, is confident that the Garuda would be able to play well despite the pressure.

Tumena revealed that even though the Scotland-born manager is no longer with the Garuda, he did share some useful inputs during the team’s training session.

“With the stadium being packed and facing the home team, I think this is a positive thing because in Indonesia, we are accustomed to playing before a huge crowd at all levels.

“The pressure from Malaysian supporters would spur our players on,” he told a pre-match press conference at the venue today.

Tumena said the presence of a number of new faces encouraged him to plot the best strategy against Malaysia.

The former Indonesian national player is optimistic the Garuda could rise to the occasion and chalk up its first victory after four defeats in the qualifying round.

For the record, Indonesia lost 2-3 to Malaysia, 0-3 and 0-5 to Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) respectively, and succumbed to Group G leaders Vietnam 1-3 in Hanoi on Nov 15.

“We have not raked in any points, which means we have to improve our game. The pressure is always there, regardless, we will face it head-on like we always do, Tumena said.

Sharing his spirit and sentiment is Indonesian defender Yanto Basna who is looking for a win against Malaysia. He realised it would be a tall order, given Malaysia’s positive results in recent matches.

The Thai Premier League defender who plays for Sukhothai FC, felt that the squad had been highly motivated since they arrived here on Nov 12 to prepare for the match.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)