22/06/2024 10:01 PM

PETALING JAYA, June 22 (Bernama) — After a seven-year drought, Wan Zarif Ikram brought smiles back to the national camp when he won the gold medal in the boys’ Masters at the 23rd Asian Junior Tenpin Bowling Championships at Sunway Mega Lanes here today.

The 17-year-old kegler, who was making his second appearance in the under-18 tournament, defeated Hong Kong's Jovi Ma (385 points) after recording a total of 427 pinfalls while the bronze medal went to his countryman Ethan Damien Goh in a step-ladder final of the top three bowlers.

Never giving up hope, backup athlete Wan Zarif admitted that going down to blitz the lanes with a champion’s mentality helped him book a top podium finish in front of home fans.

Starting off in today’s second block of eight games, Wan Zarif was lying fourth overnight behind overall leader Ethan Damien, who won five of eight games in Friday’s first block to lead the field of 16 boys.

“I never thought it possible because from day one, I worked hard in the boys’ Singles but it didn't work out. I was indeed depressed, (but) I didn’t give up the fight. Then my success in winning the Masters today. I have to say ‘thank you’ to all who gave me their support.

“After this, I will participate in the Malaysia Games (SUKMA XXI in Sarawak in August), representing Terengganu. I am targeting the Singles, All Events and Masters,” Wan Zarif said.

National youth squad coach Alex Liew was ecstatic when his lads shone in the Masters, which Malaysia last won through Tun Ameerul Hakim at the 2017 Asian Juniors edition in Kuching, Sarawak.

“We reminded Wan Zarif to stay calm and not rush his game. He did well and I am very happy with the overall result. I was disappointed with the earlier boys’ Team event because we had problems, and this is like payback time to get a gold medal back,” he said.

The victory saw Malaysia close their campaign with a tally of three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. 

Malaysia won two gold medals earlier in the girls’ All Events through Afiqah Kamilia Ali, who also helped Intan Nor Edryana Nor Azliman, Nur Ainul Hayat Ad Nor and Adelia Nur Irwan Syazalee (in team Malaysia A) to win the girls’ Team event with 4,720 pinfalls, 40 pins ahead of two Singapore teams in second and third places.

The two silver medals were contributed by Intan Nor Edryana (girls’ All Events) and the Malaysia B boys’ team (4,917 pinfalls) of Amin Zulkarnain Zulkifli, Eldred Kho Yek Zhen, Muhammad Aiman ​​Syahin and Muhammad Aqil Faizal, who lost to winners Australia A (4,969 pinfalls) by 52 pins. Australia B took bronze with 4,846 pinfalls.

The two bronze medals came from Ethan Damian in boys’ Singles (won by Singapore’s Mark Leong) and Qurratu'ain Izdihar Mohd Pozi in girls’ Singles (won by Singapore’s Nura Salsibila Zulkifli).


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