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NST Online: Sports

Bowling: Funding cut has MTBC worried

Posted: 19 Feb 2011 04:25 PM PST

Ajitpal Singh

Siti Safiyah is a product of the successful back-up programme.

Siti Safiyah is a product of the successful back-up programme.

BOWLING may not have a fully funded training programme for back-up bowlers this year.

The National Sports Council (NSC), in a meeting with the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) on Thursday, informed the national body over its intentions to scrap the programme.

And MTBC is unhappy over the move as it feels the back-up programme has been churning out world class bowlers over the years.

Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Sin Li Jane were among those under the back-up programme, who went on to make Malaysia proud in several world class tournaments.

MTBC high performance manager Cheah Ban Cheng said NSC only wants to fund the national elite and junior programmes this year.

"Most of our top bowlers in the elite squad, are products of the back-up programme. If it is removed, we may have a problem producing top class bowlers in the future.

"We will have another meeting with NSC next week to discuss the matter. We are hoping for a win-win situation for both parties. Our training and competition programmes should start next month," said Ban Cheng yesterday.

Meanwhile, Zulmazran Zulkifli is targeting another successful outing in his second appearance in the Commonwealth Bowling Championships at Pyramid Megalanes in Bandar Sunway.

The 28-year-old made a memorable debut in the 2004 Cyprus edition, where he won three gold (men's and mixed doubles; and team event), one silver (singles) and one bronze (Masters).

"It will be meaningful if I can win in front of the fans here. Although, my performance was consistent last year, I did not win titles. I hope to start my year with a title," said Zulmazran.

"When I competed in Cyprus, I had no pressure as I was a junior then. But it will be different now as I am the most senior bowler in the Malaysian team. I need to produce a good show to motivate my teammates."

Zulmazran and last year's Malaysian Open winner Adrian Ang make up the men's team while former World Ranking Masters champion Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman and Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi will spearhead Malaysia's challenge in the women's section.

Bowlers will roll-off for medals in the men's and women's singles, doubles, Masters and mixed doubles and mixed team. Teams will try out the lanes during official practice today before they start their campaign in the singles tomorrow.

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Squash: Danish proves to be bogey man for Asyraf

Posted: 19 Feb 2011 04:24 PM PST

Devinder Singh

Asyraf Azan was beaten twice by Danish.

Asyraf Azan was beaten twice by Danish.

PAKISTANI teenager Danish Atlas Khan proved to be a thorn in the side of Asyraf Azan after twice ousting the national No 4 in Iran last week.

Asyraf was the top seed in both PSA Tour Challenger 10 events but it was 17-year-old Danish, touted as the next Pakistan No 1, who won the tournaments after beating Asyraf in the quarter-finals of the Persian Gulf Cup on Feb 8 and again in the FAJR International final on Wednesday.

Danish can expect to improve significantly on his world ranking of 174 after winning the first two titles of his career while World No 60 Asyraf has to wait a little while longer for his first PSA Tour title since 2009.

After a 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6 defeat to Danish at the Persian Gulf Cup in Kish Island, Asyraf, 22, bounced back to beat former World No 11 Mansoor Zaman of Pakistan in the FAJR International semi-finals in Arak, 8-11, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-5.

But Asyraf's hopes of avenging his earlier defeat to Danish were dashed when the Pakistani youngster claimed his second career title with a 12-10, 18-16, 11-6 win in the final.

Meanwhile, national No 1 Azlan Iskandar opens his North American Open campaign in Richmond, Virginia today against England's Daryl Selby in the first round where he could be joined by Nafiizwan Adnan.

National No 3 Nafiizwan reached the qualifying finals for a spot in the main draw after edging a drawn out battle against Patrick Chifunda of Zambia 11-5, 11-8, 18-16 in 70 minutes.

Kamran Khan however was not so fortunate but the World No 80 gave 40th-ranked American Julian Illingworth a run for his money before in a 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10 defeat in 89 minutes.

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