Bowler Shayna Ng creates history at World Championships
Bowler clinches All Events title to become first S'porean winner at world event
The butterflies in the tummy were there, no doubt.
But Shayna Ng made them fall in line, dancing to her beat, as she delivered a stinging three-strike finish to write her name into the history books.
That flawless last frame yesterday earned the 26-year-old the All Events gold medal in the Women's World Bowling Championships in Abu Dhabi, making her the first Singaporean to strike gold at the event since its 2005 inception.
The national bowler amassed 5,587 pinfalls in the singles, doubles, trios and team events, just one pin ahead of American Liz Johnson, with South Korea's Jeon Eun Hee in third with 5,521.
Ng was so focused on her game that she had no idea she had written her name into local bowling annals.
"Oh, I'm the first (to win at the World Championships)? That's even better," she said, chuckling in a phone interview with The New Paper from the Zayed Sports City.
"It was nerve-racking, I must admit, and I was shaking quite a bit (before the last shot).
"But we should be enjoying the pressure and not let it affect us, and I'm just glad I pulled through."
She may have finished on top of a 147-woman pile, but it took something special - and a bit of fortune - to finish alone at the summit.
"I finished bowling first, so the pressure was on Johnson but, when I striked out that last frame, I knew it was a guaranteed gold, because even if she did the same, we would have shared the gold medal," said Ng, who also derived joy from the consistent performance of the six-woman Singapore team.
With a 1,026-pinfall total, Singapore lost to the United States (1,105) in the semi-finals of the team-of-five semi-finals yesterday, and had to settle for a bronze.
The Americans then felled South Korea 1,168-1,060 in the final that followed immediately after.
Ng's gold in the All Events and the team bronze meant that Singapore won medals in every event at the championships - singles (Cherie Tan, silver and Ng, bronze), doubles (Tan and Ng, bronze) and trios (Tan, Ng and New Hui Fen, silver) - a record haul that left Ng brimming with pride.
Jazreel Tan, Joey Yeo, and Daphne Tan make up the rest of the team.
"I'm glad that all six of us are going home with a medal, that's the most important thing for us," said Ng.
"We had been training very hard for the last three months, and it's great to see our work pay off - it is a great end to the year."
The Women's World Bowling Championships is the last event of the year for the bowlers, and Ng is just looking forward to a well-deserved break over the festive period.
Mervyn Foo, the Singapore Bowling Federation's technical director, paid tribute to the team.
He said: "Shayna's performance was simply brilliant. Not just as an individual, but also as a team player.
"This team worked really well as a unit, and the medals that accompanied are just pure by-products of the tremendous training efforts they have put in.
"This effort would not have been possible if not for the leadership and support from our president and council, the Singapore Sports Institute and the whole bowling system in Singapore."
So far, Ng has a gold, a silver and two bronze medals to her name, but she is not quite done yet.
She has to dance with the butterflies one more time, for another shot at glory in the Masters step-ladder finals today.