ASEAN Para Games: Three cheers for bowlers

He bowls, plays badminton and table tennis, among many other sports.

But bowling is the sport Mohamad Rausyan chose to represent Singapore in at the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG) and, yesterday, his decision was vindicated.

The 21-year-old won a gold medal on his APG debut at Temasek Club with his tally of 1,092 pinfalls in the mixed singles for sport class TPB4, for people with intellectual disabilities, It was the first of three gold medals for the Republic yesterday as Mohamed Ismail Hussain and Anuar Saaid also struck gold in the TPB3 and TPB8 categories, respectively.

"I'm happy. I enjoyed the bowling today," Rausyan said after his win.

"Home support helps because when they have full support, they will motivate themselves to go all out to do their best," bowling team manager Darren Khemlani said.

Rausyan's teammate, Eric Foo Ming De, made it a 1-2 for Singapore with his score of 1,079 pinfalls.

Two other Singaporean bowlers - Muhammad Farhan Ismail (990) and Nixon Fan (926) - finished third and fourth respectively, but the bronze was awarded to fifth-placed Ye Phone Maung (730) of Myanmar because each country can win only a maximum of two medals for individual events.

Khemlani was thrilled with his charges' performances.

"I wouldn't say it's a surprise because the four of them have been training very hard for this competition," he said.

"I came into the APG without high expectations because I didn't want to give them pressure. So I'm very happy with the results of the first day."

For Ismail, who was a double medallist at the 2011 APG in Solo, Indonesia, winning the gold medal in the TPB3 category with 1,137 pinfalls was a significant achievement.

Malaysia's Zainul Akmal Siran (1,100) and Ku Izham Ku Harun (1.056) finished second and third, respectively.

"It's definitely harder (this time) but I would say it's rewarding because I'm bowling on home ground and the whole of Singapore is behind me," said Ismail.

The bowler is eyeing more success in the doubles and trios events, where he hopes he and his teammates can spur each other on during the competition.

DETERMINED

"We can always count on each other when we are down. When you see that your partner is down, you will be more determined to help bring him up," he said.

While the 32-year-old is hoping for a repeat of his performance in Solo, he is not putting too much pressure on himself.

"I definitely love to repeat whatever I've achieved in Solo, but I'm still trying my best to focus on the process and let the outcome take care of itself," he said.

"I will try and keep myself composed and concentrate until the very last shot."

Meanwhile, Anuar bowled 838 pinfalls from six games to win the gold in the TPB8 category.

"This medal is not only for me, but also for everyone who came to support me," said the 53-year-old, who won a bronze at the 2011 edition.


This article was first published on December 5, 2015.
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