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Bowling chief Phua believes male bowlers will come good

WELCOME BACK: Bowler Shayna Ng (centre, with bouquet) posing for a photo upon the team's arrival at Changi Airport yesterday.
Jessie Phua.

Emerging from the gate at Changi Airport Terminal 2 yesterday afternoon, Jessie Phua was beaming as she waved at an approximate crowd of 150 people gathered to welcome home the Singapore bowling contingent from the Asian Games in Incheon.

On the back of what she described as a brilliant performance by Team Singapore — the contingent returned home with five gold medals, six silver and 13 bronze medals to finish in 15th spot in the standings —  Phua, the chef de mission was in good spirits.

Phua, who is also president of the Singapore Bowling Federation, was at least candid about her bowlers’ performance.  

After a shaky start, the women’s team returned home with a respectable medal haul of one gold, two silvers and a bronze.

The men’s performance, on the other hand, was, as she described it, disappointing. 
The squad of Keith Saw, Ng Chiew Pang, Justin Lim, Muhammad Jaris Goh, Joel Tan and Javier Tan returned home empty-handed.

The trio of Saw, Lim and Ng did come within a whisker — 14 pinfalls — of a bronze when they finished fourth in the men’s trios event.

“I pull no punches when it comes to my bowlers. I have very high expectations of them, (and) I expected more medals,” said Phua, who has been in charge of the national sports association since 2002.

“The men’s team were overawed in Korea, but I believe they will become a group who can compete with the best. 

“After a short break, Remy (Ong, national bowling coach) and the other coaches will look at what went wrong and see how we are going to fix it. 

“Remy is harder on them than I am, and he wants to bring the boys up shoulder to shoulder with the women’s team.”

Read the full report in our print edition on Oct 6. 

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