Remy Ong slowly getting 'feel' back ahead of international comeback

Remy Ong slowly getting 'feel' back ahead of international comeback
Remy Ong (in black).
PHOTO: The New Paper

Coming out of retirement can be a tricky matter in any elite sport.

Martina Navratilova won 19 Wimbledon titles when she retired from singles competition in 1994, and did her reputation no harm when she returned in 2000, claiming two more Grand Slam titles in 2003.

On the flip side, Michael Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 as one of the greatest drivers the sport has ever seen, but his second coming in 2010 with Mercedes had been less than stellar, before his unfortunate skiiing accident three years later.

Singapore's former world champion bowler Remy Ong will be hoping that his comeback on the lanes will be more Martina than Michael, even if his first foray back into competitive bowling in three years - at the Singapore National Bowling Championships earlier this month - had shown that he needs to shake off the rust.

"Although I've been at the lanes almost everyday (as the national coach), it's different when you actually bowl yourself," said Ong, 36, who missed the cut for the 24-strong Men's Open Masters at the local event at Temasek Club.

"Manufacturers are making balls more powerful now than three years ago, and it affects how the lanes break down, so I have to get my 'feel' back."

The southpaw has been training almost daily at the Civil Service Club in Changi, while running the Sponzer Group, a digital marketing company he co-founded.

The company has already made a few deals, which include an event today at the Fullerton Hotel to commemorate 45 years of diplomatic relationship between Mongolia and Singapore.

Ong said: "I've been busy every day and everything is looking good and positive. My partner and staff are incredibly supportive and helpful about my bowling, and I couldn't have done it without them."

COMEBACK

The triple-gold medallist at the 2002 Asian Games will be making his international comeback this weekend on familiar ground, at the Qatar Bowling Open.

He will follow that up with the Kingdom International Open, which starts in Saudi Arabia next Thursday.

Ong won the Qatar event in 2009, and the Saudi competition a year later.

"I definitely have expectations of myself at these competitions because I am still a very competitive person," said Ong, who is leaving for the Middle East on Saturday.

"I'd have to take it step by step, since I only recently came back after almost three years out of the scene.

"But I am slowly getting that 'feel' back, and what matters most is that I've still got the hunger to win."


This article was first published on November 25, 2015.
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