Daphne upstages sis for gold 

Daphne upstages sis for gold 
Singapore’s Daphne Tan’s opening 289 game set her up for the singles gold, which she won after Jazreel Tan faltered in her final bowling game at the 28th Sea Games on 9 June 2015.

Sisters Cherie and Daphne Tan each have a cupboard at home to store their bowling medals.

As the older and more accomplished of the two, Cherie's silverware collected over the years far outnumber that of her sibling.

That game of catch-up was narrowed yesterday as Daphne produced a stunning performance to capture the SEA Games women's singles gold on the first day of the bowling competition.

"I really wanted this medal, especially since we're competing at home and it's a special SEA Games," she said.

"I was happy for (Cherie) at the 2011 SEA Games, when she won three golds in Jakarta, but it was also motivation for me. I wanted to be as good as her."

The 25-year-old, roared on by raucous home support, began in blistering fashion at the Orchid Country Club yesterday.

In her first game, she scored 289 pinfalls - at one point she bowled 10 consecutive strikes. While she was unable to maintain that form, subsequent games of 198, 223, 176, 235 and 247 for a total of 1,368 pinfalls were enough for her to fend off all comers for her first individual Games title.

She said: "I got off to a very good start, and even though it was (fluctuating) like the stock market after that, I knew I had a good lead and tried to make the most of my chances when I could."

It was unfortunately a case of missed opportunities for team-mate Jazreel Tan, 24, who had finished third and three pinfalls behind Cherie four years ago.

This time, the multiple Asian Games medallist had led by seven pinfalls over Daphne heading into the sixth and final game, but was left to rue her 185-pinfall effort - her worst of the day - after scores of 258, 224, 216, 195 and 235. She had to settle for a silver, with a total of 1,313 pinfalls.

She said: "I didn't make any mistakes until the last game when I missed the spare, but I'm pretty satisfied with how I performed today and how I threw the ball."

Meanwhile, a bronze medal would have gone to Cherie, 27, whose score of 1,294 was the third-best.

Instead it went to Malaysian Esther Cheah (with 1,291 pinfalls) due to a Games regulation whereby no country may win more than two individual medals if both the team and individual events are conducted at the same time.

Nevertheless, with more golds up for grabs in the doubles, trios, team and masters events, Singapore's female keglers - all six of whom finished in the top-10 of the 34-woman field - had already delivered a message to their rivals.

Said Jazreel: "This will do our confidence a lot of good for the next few events. We're comfortable with the lanes and hopefully we can bring more good news."

Malaysia's rising star Rafiq Ismail took the men's singles gold with 1,308 pinfalls. Thai Annop Arromsaranon was three pinfalls back in second while Singapore's Javier Tan finished third with 1,284 pinfalls.

With one gold already in the bag - and safely tucked away in her closet - Daphne was already eyeing more medals.

She said with a laugh: "I've got a long way to go to fill up my cupboard."

jonwong@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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