IN RECENT years, the likes of world champions Cherie Tan and Shayna Ng, as well as multiple Asian Games medallist Jazreel Tan, have dominated headlines when it comes to Singapore bowling.
But, yesterday, in Bangkok's Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl Ratchayothin, national kegler New Hui Fen served evidence of why she deserves to be mentioned in the same breath when she won the women's masters at the 23rd Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships.
The 23-year-old beat South Korea's Son Yun Hee, a multiple Asian Games gold medallist, 270-193.
It was her second gold and third medal overall at the event after clinching the trios gold and team silver earlier.
Said New, who joined the national senior team in 2010: "I was confident entering the final. I was making good shots on both days and I knew, if I found my carry, I'd win.
"We have a lot of good players in the team and there's a very healthy competition in the team.
"In the past, I wasn't firm enough and maybe people thought I was happy with a supporting role.
"Hopefully, after this, they will see I am on par with the rest."
With June's SEA Games on the horizon, national coach Remy Ong is finding it hard to ignore New's claim to be in his final squad of six.
He said: "She did really well to step up here and proved that she is one of the dominant forces in the team.
"If things go as planned, it'll be hard not to choose her for the SEA Games.
She's our striking machine. She's worked really hard over the past year."
In the masters finals, she notched 4,038 pinfalls to finish top of a 16-strong field, smashing the meet record of 3,751 set by South Korea's Choi Jin A in 2008.
In the step ladder final, Son, who needed to win two straight matches to bag the gold, drew first blood, winning the opening match 240-208.
But New responded by calmly dismantling her opponent in the decider, hitting 10 strikes en route to a convincing victory.
She said: "After the first match, I was just angry.
I thought I shouldn't be sitting there watching her strike while I picked up the spares.
"I adjusted my shots and managed to find my holes on the lanes. "
Singapore finished with two golds and one silver from the event.
The men's team did not bag a medal but Ong said he was pleased with the outing.
The coach, a former Asian Games triple gold medallist, said: "The level of competition is higher in the men's events... they did well in the trios to beat Thailand.
"Overall, the coaching staff and players worked really well here.
There's still much room for improvement and we should continue to move forward and aim for more in the future."
This article was first published on Jan 27, 2015.
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