Tan sisters eye revenge
The New Paper continues the countdown to the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur with a look at the family connections in the various sports. Today, we feature the TAN SISTERS in bowling.
Cherie and Daphne have been to so many overseas competitions together in their 14 years in bowling, that the two sisters half-joked about getting bored with each other.
Cherie, 29, said: "We have been going for a lot of competitions, so it's kind of... it doesn't feel extra special now."
Then Daphne, 27, chimed in, laughing: "Maybe we are starting to (get bored of each other) already."
The globetrotting sisters - both full-time athletes under the spexScholarship scheme - have travelled together to countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia and the US, just to name a few, in recent years.
The duo left for KL yesterday, as part of the 12-strong bowling team competing in the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
They previously competed together at the 2011 and 2015 editions in Jakarta and Singapore respectively, while Cherie also participated in 2007 in Korat, Thailand.
Bowling was not offered at the 2013 Games in Myanmar.
Competition among teammates, including Cherie and Daphne, is inevitable, be it during internal selections for competitions, or at tournaments.
While other siblings The New Paper spoke to said they try not to bring the rivalry back home, the Tan sisters readily acknowledge that they do.
Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya
Jazreel Tan, Bernice Lim, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan, Daphne Tan, Basil Ng, Cheah Ray Han, Jaris Goh, Darren Ong, Keith Saw, Timothy Tham
PERFORMANCE AT THE 2015 SEA GAMES
4 golds, 5 silvers, 1 bronze
Daphne said: "When we get back, I would be like 'Aiyah, I lose to you, I will beat you the next time' or something like that."
Cherie added: "It happens, regardless of whether it's my sister or my teammate. Only one can progress when it comes to the (knock-out) stages in tournaments."
But, underneath the bickering, the banter and the competition, the sisters are virtually inseparable.
In her profile on the Singapore Bowling Federation website, Daphne listed her elder sister as the most influential person in her life, and would consult the latter for advice from time to time, despite being arguably just as accomplished as her sibling.
Daphne said: "Sometimes I would ask for her help, if it so happens that the coach is busy, then I know I can ask her because I trust her level of expertise."
Cherie added, laughing: "She would also try to give me some input; I would listen and think about it, but I will not tell her whether it is useful to me or not."
The siblings share an interesting SEA Games statistic - Cherie won the women's singles gold in 2011, while Daphne topped the same event on home ground in 2015.
But, the duo were indifferent when the suggestion of a possible Tan family three-peat was floated during the interview.
Daphne said: "We don't compare one SEA Games to another."
Mention the prospect of winning the team gold, though, and the mood of the Tan sisters changes.
Two years ago, Singapore's women's team lost the team gold on home turf to arch-rivals Malaysia, who celebrated their victory exuberantly at the Orchid Country Club.
The team are keen to return the favour at the Sunway Mega Lanes, where the bowling competition starts on Sunday.
They have achieved a similar feat before, when they took the Asian Games team gold in Incheon in 2014, against a world-class Korean team on their home ground.
But Cherie says the Causeway rivalry makes the upcoming challenge quite different from that of 2014.
She said: "We know the Malaysian spectators are on a different scale from that of the other countries."
Daphne added: "They can be really supportive of their bowlers, and we experienced it during the Asian Games in Korea. Even if you are new to the sport, you could feel it (the rivalry) already."
Asked what it would mean for Singapore to win the team gold in Kuala Lumpur, Cherie said: "We will be feeling what they felt two years ago."