Bowling president Jessie Phua pleased with keglers' performance
After a roller-coaster six days that saw Causeway rivals Singapore and Malaysia lord it out in 10 events, Singapore Bowling Federation (SBF) president Jessie Phua said she was pleased with the overall performance.
At the SBF's SEA Games celebration dinner at Royal Plaza on Scotts last night, she told The New Paper: "Jazreel winning the women's Masters gold was a good ending, but I will give the women's team an overall rating of B+ at best.
"We lost the women's team gold to Malaysia and we were the most talented team that under-delivered.
"I didn't sleep until 4am after that event. I expected a lot from the team and of myself too, so I was wondering if there was anything we missed out in the preparations.
"I think the girls pushed themselves so much it unhinged the dynamics a little and, in the end, it came down to management of emotions."
Phua did praise the women for winning the singles, trios and Masters event, and backed them to learn from the experience.
"I think it is a world first for a country to fill the first five positions of the Masters event at a major tournament, and that shows the calibre we have," she said.
She then gave her men's team an A+, following a surprise gold in the doubles, which brothers Howard and Keith Saw won.
Javier Tan added a bronze in the singles, and the three of them combined to take the trios silver.
"They delivered way beyond expectations," said Phua.
"We were hoping for podium finishes, but the boys came up with medals of every colour. They have shown they have matured since the Asian Games.
"They deserve all the plaudits and publicity. I hope this experience gives the boys the motivation and belief that they can accomplish greater things."
The bowlers won a total of four golds, five silvers and one bronze, just behind Malaysia's haul of five golds, one silver and four bronzes. Thailand were third with one of each colour.
For being bowling's first men and woman gold medallists, the Saw brothers and women's singles champion Daphne Tan were awarded a European holiday courtesy of SBF sponsors Insight Vacation and Phua, while all the bowling champions will also receive a Canon camera.
National coach Remy Ong said the team will take a well-deserved short break before preparing for December's world championships in Abu Dhabi.
He added: "I'm proud of what the team have achieved at the SEA Games, which was a result of the hard work put in by all the players and staff.
"If you ask me, I will want to win everything. But we can't control the results.
"If you ask me about what I think about the performance, I can say I'm happy with how everyone performed in all his or her events. Ten events, 10 medals, I'm satisfied."