Bowlers back in focus

Women's Trios - Singapore's Cherie Tan, Shayna Ng and Bernice Lim celebrate with their gold medal

They were strong contenders to win at least a medal in every event at the 2015 SEA Games but surprised everyone, including themselves, when they finished empty-handed on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Singapore's women bowlers came out with a vengeance, redeeming themselves by winning both gold and silver in the women's trios at the Orchid Country Club bowling centre.

Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan and Bernice Lim led from the first game till the end, sauntering to the top of the podium with a six-game, combined total of 3,963 pins, while Jazreel Tan, Daphne Tan and New Hui Fen claimed silver with 3,707 pins.

Marie Alexis, Maria Arles and Lara Posadas of the Philippines took the bronze with 3,608 pins.

It was Singapore's first women's trios gold at the Games since Doreen Phang, Katherine Lee and Catherine Kang finished first in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1995.

Asked if yesterday's victory was sweeter, given a barren Day 2, all three gold medallists said in unison: "Of course!"

Cherie, 26, added: "It was a clean sweep (in the women's events) today, we knocked them away. It was important to get the lead in the medium oil (first block of three games) before the long oil (second block of three games).

"We are actually stronger on the long oil, so to have the advantage on the medium was very big for us.

"The win is sweet also because we lost the silver by a small margin to Thailand in 2011 and we were not pleased about that.

"So, to finally win the gold and silver in the trios is really a big thing for Singapore."

Shayna, 25, was the most consistent bowler in yesterday's competition with a 227.67 average, and carded the competition's highest single-game score of 267 in the fifth game.

She said: "It was good teamwork, our communication was excellent and we pushed each other.

"When one person didn't bowl well we had someone else doing well."

Bernice, 23, added: "All that was in my mind was to fight back (after Day 2) and win a medal for Singapore.

"I am really glad we were able to do that."

National coach Remy Ong hailed his female bowlers for bouncing back and producing a sterling performance.

He said: "Yesterday was not a good day for them, but they looked forward and they bowled well today.

"We are prepared for hiccups and it happened yesterday, we will not let it happen again."

While Cherie and Co. strolled to victory, the other Singapore trio endured a topsy-turvy day, swinging from second spot to fourth, and back again.

Daphne, 24, said: "We were better on the long oil than medium in the previous days, but somehow it was the other way round today.

"Our shots were good but we just couldn't get the carry. But we will be back tomorrow."

Shayna acknowledged that the women's team might have taken their foot off the pedal on Wednesday, after a great first day where three Singaporeans finished in the top three positions in the women's singles.

But, she said: "Tomorrow is going to be a brand new day, we shouldn't be too complacent with our win today because I think that was what happened after the singles.

"I think tomorrow we should all continue to do our best that we can be out there."

Bernice added: "Hopefully, tomorrow we will bring in the medals again."

This article was first published on June 12, 2015.
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