Women's bowlers find redemption in winning 1st team gold since 2011

Singapore's women's bowling team – comprising (from left) New Hui Fen, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan and Shayna Ng – clinched their first team gold since the 2011 SEA Games. (PHOTO: SNOC/Lim Weixiang)

SINGAPORE — They were widely recognised as one of the most talented generation of women’s bowlers that Singapore has produced. Yet while they had won plenty of individual accolades, a team gold at the SEA Games proved elusive for the past eight years.

On Friday (6 December) at the Coronado Lanes in Manila, the women’s team – comprising Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen and Shayna Ng – finally ended that lean spell when they clinched their first women’s team gold since the 2011 SEA Games in Jakarta.

They scored a combined 4,833 pinfalls, just managing to edge out arch-rivals Malaysia (4,033 pinfalls). The Malaysian team were the two-time defending champions whom Singapore lost out to in 2015 and 2017. Bowling was not part of the 2013 Games programme.

“It’s really sweet for us to win gold, because we’ve been losing to Malaysia the past couple of times, and to finally beat them this time around, it’s like redemption for all of us,” Cherie said.

Host Philippines were third with 4,735 pinfalls.

Singapore bowler Cherie Tan in action in the women's team competition at the SEA Games. (PHOTO: SNOC/Lim Weixiang)

Singapore’s men’s team – comprising Muhammad Jaris Goh, Basil Ng, Cheah Ray Han and Alex Chong – were unable to retain their gold medal won in 2017, finishing in fifth place with 4,652 pinfalls. Malaysia clinched the top honour with 4,980 pinfalls, followed by the Philippines (4,937) and Thailand (4,896).

So far, the bowlers have clinched two golds, one silver and two bronzes at the Games.

First individual golf gold for Singapore in 30 years

At the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Clark City, Singapore golfer James Leow had a sizzling final round of 65 to storm to gold in the men’s individual competition.

This is the first time since 1989 that a Singapore golfer has won an individual golf gold at the Games. Samson Gimson was the last Singaporean to do so 30 years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore golfer James Leow poses with the national flag after winning the men's individual gold at SEA Games. (PHOTO: Singapore Golf Association)

“There was a huge hunger in me before the tournament and I wanted to play the best I could,” Leow, a 22-year-old sophomore at Arizona State University, told The Straits Times.

“It’s a surreal feeling to finally win the individual gold medal for Team Singapore again.”

He was tied for the top spot after the first round, carding a four-under-par 68, but found himself dropping down to third after a 70 in the second round on Thursday.

In the final round, he found his putting range and had seven birdies to overtake the overnight leader, Thailand’s Tanapat Pichaikool, for the gold with a 13-under total of 203. Tanapat settled for silver with 204, while his compatriot Nopparat Panichphol was third on 205.

Singapore had won the men’s team gold for the first time in 2017, led by the quartet of Gregory Foo, Joshua Shou, Marc Ong and Joshua Ho.

SEA Games stories:

Schooling handed shock 50m fly defeat by compatriot Teong

Nazri wins 1st sambo gold as Singapore dominate underwater hockey

Unique SEA Games routes for sambo athletes Nazri and Tang

Singapore's golden family as Quah siblings lead 10-gold rush

First Games golds for Singapore in underwater hockey; lawn bowls team victorious too

COMMENT: It's time to stop calling football Singapore's national sport

Berthier retains fencing title, Gong wins 900th Singapore gold

New Hui Fen earns bowling gold as typhoon causes postponements

Silat men's team earns lone gold on lean day for Singapore

Women's floorball team, figure skater Chloe Ing clinch golds

Yong Yi Xiang wins first gold for Singapore at 2019 SEA Games