(L-R) Brunei’s women’s fours team of Suhana Hj Md Daud, Hjh Amalia Hj Metali, Hjh Ajijah Muntol and Nur Uzma Khadijah Ibrahim after winning gold at the 11th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships yesterday. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
Suhana Hj Daud (L) and Hjh Ajijah Muntol (R) celebrate beating Malaysia in the women’s fours final at the 11th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships yesterday. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
Dk Nurul Nabilah Pg Hj Salleh Chuchu (C) in a group photo with her father Pg Hj Salleh Chuchu (R) and Brunei National Lawn Bowls Association Vice President Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah after winning silver in the women’s singles. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
Hjh Ajijah (L) and Suhana (R) watch Hjh Amalia Hj Metali roll the ball towards the ‘jack’ during the final. Picture: BT/Khaliq Roziman
BRUNEI won its first-ever gold medal in the women’s fours category when they beat Malaysia 15-14 at the 11th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships yesterday.
The team of Hjh Amalia Hj Matali, Nur Uzma Khadijah Ibrahim, Suhana Hj Md Daud and Hjh Ajijah Muntol edged Malaysia 15-14 at the Lawn Bowls Arena of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas – where Brunei also won silver.
Leading 18-17 in the women’s singles final, Dk Nurul Nabilah Pg Hj Mohd Salleh Chuchu surrendered four straight points to Malaysia’s two-time Commonwealth Games champion Siti Zalina Ahmad – who won the match 21-18. Speaking to The Brunei Times, Hjh Amalia expressed her joy after helping Brunei secure its second Asian Lawn Bowls Championships gold medal after the men’s pairing of Abd Rahman Hj Omar and Hj Naim Brahim’s sealed the country’s maiden gold in the 2007 edition which was also held in sultanate.
“We made history today (yesterday) but we are far from done,” said Hjh Amalia in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday. “We were ecstatic after beating a strong and young team from Malaysia. The key was that we never gave up. We were trailing 8-1 in the fifth set, but we marched on and pushed for points.”
The sultanate progressed into the women’s fours final after beating India 16-13 in the semi-finals earlier in the day, and Hjh Amalia is now hoping to carry their winning momentum into today’s women’s triples category preliminary round matches. “We cannot be complacent. We are targeting the final again, and who knows which team we will be up against,” Hjh Amalia said.
“The pressure is on even more now because all teams will be looking to give us a challenge – which is why we need to remain focused,” she added. Despite the loss, Dk Nurul Nabilah felt that the performance was one of her best since she started competing professionally in 2002.
“I was disappointed, but at the same time, I was up against Malaysia's top singles lawn bowler, Siti Zalina - and she is a formidable opponent,” Dk Nurul Nabilah said. “Going as far as the final against her was definitely my best performance so far.
“We’ve met several times in our previous competitions but this is the first time I was so close, but luck was not on my side,” she added. Dk Nurul Nabilah advanced to the final after beating Hong Kong’s Camilla Yiu Leung 21-19. Dk Nurul Nabilah will be pairing up with Esmawandy Ibrahim in the women’s pairs category today, and she is confident she can reach another final.
The men’s singles and fours category start at 8am today while the women’s triples start at 10am. Meanwhile, the 9th Asian Under-25 Singles Lawn Bowls Championships fourth preliminary rounds will continue at 10am today.