Friday, July 04, 2014

Siti Zalina eyeing hat-trick in Glasgow

The national lawn bowls squad after a breaking fast function in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pic by Osman Adnan

TWO years away from the sport has whetted the appetite of lawn bowler Siti Zalina Ahmad to go for a third gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23-Aug 3.

Zalina’s absence was due to a run-in with the Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation (MLBF) in 2011 and the former World No 3 only returned to the national squad after a change in the MLBF leadership last year.

The 34-year-old two-time Commonwealth Games singles gold medalist marked her return with a bronze medal at the World Cup in April against a strong field in Warilla, Australia.
Zalina said she has no regrets staying out of the limelight and believes she is in good shape to win her third gold medal after losing in the semi-finals in New Delhi four years ago.

“I don’t think about what happened in the past. I have no regrets over being away as I took the opportunity to spend time with my family,” said Zalina when met before training at the Bukit Kiara greens yesterday.

“After not playing for two years, I feel very excited to be representing the country again at a major competition.

“I am honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to try to win my third gold medal.
“This is like a comeback for me and I have a chance to make history for Malaysian lawn bowls. I should have done it in India but lost in the semi-finals and this is a second chance for me.
“Nothing is impossible and I just hope to play my best.”

In Glasgow, Zalina has been drawn with bowlers from New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Niue, Malawi and India in the singles preliminary round and she will team up with Norhashimah Ismail for the women’s pairs against Australia, Northern Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Niue in Group A.

“Playing at the World Cup was good preparation for me as most of the bowlers there will also be competing in Glasgow,” said Zalina.

“It was good to gauge my standard against them and also to check out the competition.
“I will have to watch for the bowlers from New Zealand and Norfolk Island in my group and also the defending champion from England (Natalie Melmore), Scotland and Canada in the knockout stages.”

By Devinder Singh - NST

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