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NST Online: Sports

Bowling: Pain fails to halt Zul and Siti

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 04:33 PM PST

Bowling: Pain fails to halt Zul and Siti

Ajitpal Singh

ZULMAZRAN Zulkifli and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman have both won numerous titles but they will savour their victories at the Commonwealth Bowling Championships yesterday for a long time to come.

Zulmazran played through the pain of his wrist injury while Siti Safiyah Amirah was suffering from a thyroid problem but that did not stop either of them from clinching the men's and women's singles titles respectively at the Pyramid Megalanes in Bandar Sunway.

Zulmazran's gallant run of strikes in the final game assured him of the title with lines of 264, 256, 236, 203, 190, 277 for a total of 1,426, averaging 237.7.

He finished 33 pins ahead of Malta's silver medallist Neil Sullivan. South Africa's Guillaume Francois Louw was third on 1,384.

"It is a memorable way to end my title drought since November, 2009. I was determined to start the year with a title after several second and third place finishes last year," said a beaming Zulmazran at Pyramid Megalanes yesterday.

"I owe this victory to my coaches for having faith in me despite having suffering a wrist injury during the Guangzhou Asian Games."

The 28-year-old had worked hard in training prior to the tournament, modifying his ball release technique to avoid aggravating his wrist problem.

"As much as I wanted victory badly today (yesterday), it was actually a team effort and everyone should be recognised for the effort and not me alone," added Zulmazran.

Siti Safiyah finally notched her first victory since the 2009 All Stars Classic by 52 pins yesterday.

The 20-year-old posted lines of 216, 193, 189, 216, 212, 254 for a 1,280 total to finish ahead of Singapore's Asian Games champion Shayna Ng (1,228) and compatriot Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi (1,224).

Siti Safiyah was third with Zandra leading the field after the fifth game but the former World Ranking Masters champion returned strongly after making adjustments in the final game.

"My thyroid problem caused my body to feel weak throughout last year, but I feel better now through medication. I hope to continue my exploits in this tournament," she said The event continues with the men's and women's doubles today.

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Cycling: Azizul's grit saves his season

Posted: 21 Feb 2011 04:27 PM PST

Arnaz M. Khairul

Azizul recovering in a hospital  in Manchester.

Azizul recovering in a hospital in Manchester.

AZIZUL Hasni Awang's split-second decision during the horrific crash in the keirin final of the Manchester UCI World Cup on Sunday, is something that has earned him more than fame.

His show of grit in jumping back on his bike with a wood splinter piercing his left calf, saved his entire season's hard work confirming his historic third UCI World Cup overall keirin title and keeping him in the lead in the Olympic qualifying rankings.

Had he not made that split second decision. Azizul's season would have ended in tatters with the injury ruling him out of the World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands on March 23-28 and he would have lost the lead in all the ranking that mattered.

"I didn't think much. After the crash, all I thought was about the UCI World Cup jersey. I needed to finish at least fourth to guarantee it, so I just got back on my bike and rode across the finish line," said Azizul, when contacted in Manchester yesterday.

"I felt pain when I crashed, as it was a hard tumble. But I didn't realise the splinter had pierced through until after I had crossed the finish line."

Doctors at the Royal Infirmary in Manchester, where Azizul had the nine-inch long splinter surgically removed from his calf yesterday morning, have told Azizul to stay off the bike for at least two weeks or until the wounds have fully recovered.

That effectively ruled him out of the World Championships, something the 23-year old from Dungun had programmed his whole season towards.

"I will have to take at least two weeks off, or more if required, to allow for the wound to fully heal. Pushing it would make it worse, so I think it would be better to allow proper recovery," said Azizul.

"Of course I'm disappointed that my season ended like this but under the circumstances, I will just have to accept fate.

"The top priority is next year's Olympics and I still have time to fully recover and prepare for the next World Cup season and continue the qualifying programme then."

Azizul was last night discharged from the hospital and boarded the flight together with his teammates back to their training base in Melbourne.

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