She wouldn't have been 1st AYG champ if born a day earlier
Bowler New Hui Fen delivers a steely performance to win the singles event. -myp
by Chia Han Keong
WITH her calm demeanour and steely will, Singapore's first Asian Youth Games (AYG) champion, New Hui Fen, comes across as a girl way beyond her years.
You see, the Republic bowler was born on Jan 1, 1992. Had she been born just a day earlier, she would have been ineligible for the AYG, which allows athletes only between 14 and 17 years of age.
Thankfully for Singapore, she is still part of the national bowling squad and her winning performance at the girls' singles competition in the Orchid Country Club yesterday gave the Republic its first AYG gold.
'I'm very honoured. This means a lot to me,' she said. 'I had originally wanted only a team gold, but this is a nice extra win.'
Hui Fen's victory came after a tense finale, which saw both silver-medallist Misaki Mukotani of Japan and bronze-medallist Oh Nu Ri of South Korea making superb last-ditch attempts to catch up.
But the Singaporean, who took the lead in the third game and extended it with a brilliant fifth game that saw her hit nine consecutive strikes, refused to be ruffled.
Despite slight wobbles early in her sixth and final game, she said: 'I didn't notice the other bowlers. I was aiming to hit 200 pinfalls for my game, and that would have been good enough.'
Sure enough, she coolly managed a 204 to seal a 45-pinfall victory with a total of 1,359 pinfalls.
Indeed, she refused to acknowledge even a single bit of tension even during her post victory interviews.
Was she nervous when she took the lead? "No."
Was she tense when the two bowlers crept up behind her in the last game? "No."
Was she sleepless the night before the competition? "No."
Jessie Phua, president of the Singapore Bowling Federation, attributed Hui Fen's calmness to thorough preparation for the competition by her coaches.
She said: 'We knew all along that she had medal potential, and we're happy she did not crumble under the burden of delivery.
'But what panned out today was exactly what our coaches had planned. So it's good to be spot on with our projection.'
For Hui Fen, the most poignant moment came when she posed for photos with dad New Kay Hong and mum Florence.
The rest of Singapore should also thank her mum for not giving birth to her a day earlier.
|[an error occurred while processing this directive]|
|Privacy Statement Conditions of Access Advertise|