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Nurul Nabilah faces battle to qualify for World Bowls playoffs
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Brunei Darussalam national lawn bowl athlete, Dayangku Nurul Nabilah binti Pengiran Haji Md Salleh Chuchu (left). - DAYANGKU NURUL NABILAH

BRUNEI Darussalam national lawn bowl athlete Dayangku Nurul Nabilah binti Pengiran Haji Mohd Salleh Chuchu endured a torrid session in the second day of the women’s singles affected by rainy conditions in the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The national lawn bowler has to occupy one of the top three spots in her qualifying group in order to make the cut in the playoffs.

Faced with fierce competition in the company of distinguished Commonwealth winners and a former world champion, Dayangku Nurul Nabilah narrowly missed out on the third spot following the conclusion of day one in the women’s singles.

The 27-year old previously shared the same number of points as 1996 world champion Carmen Anderson in the race for the playoffs on day one but trailed by a point differential of just one.

However, the second day have been a difficult outing for the Asia Lawn Bowls silver medallist after Malaysia’s Siti Zalina Ahmad, a familiar opponent, showed no mercy with a 21-5 win.

The two-time Commonwealth women’s singles champion had a slow start by her own standards and faces a similar dilemma as Dayangku Nurul Nabilah heading into day three.

The Bruneian bounced back in round five after beating Debbie Robertson of Zimbabwe 21-12 which paved the way for a crucial encounter against Ireland’s Catherine Beattie.

Dayangku Nurul Nabilah fought all the way against the 2015 Atlantic Championships gold medallist and was only separated by a few margins in a 21-19 loss.

She will return to action in day three against unbeaten Philippines bowler Ainie Knight, Scotland’s Lesley Doig and winless Cook Islands bowler Teokotai Jim.

Knight currently topped her section with a maximum of 18 points followed by Doig in second place while Jim is yet to register a single victory in the tournament.

Dayangku Nurul Nabilah indicated that there is no pressure competing in the tournament as all of the competitors are on the same boat coping with adverse weather conditions.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) was very hot and windy. Today (Wednesday) it was freezing cold and it was raining,” Dayangku Nurul Nabilah told the Bulletin.

The lawn bowler will not let her decorated opponents faze her and is only focused to concentrate her own game.

“I don’t think too much on their achievements and I just play my best to beat my opponents,” she said.

The national lawn bowler emphasised the importance of preserving a perfect record today to stand any chance of making it through knowing a defeat will spell an end to her women’s singles campaign.

“I need to win all games tomorrow (today). Then, there will be a chance to go through the next round.

“After all we need to wait for the final results to know,” said Dayangku Nurul Nabilah with the qualifying group set to come to a close.

Dayangku Nurul Nabilah has met Malaysia’s Siti Zalina multiple times including their competitive encounter in the Asian Lawn Bowls final in January and Norfolk Island’s Carmen Anderson before.

She had been involved in matches against South Africa, Scotland and England before but competed against different opponents.

It was her first time playing against Ireland and Zimbabwe and today’s clashes against Philippines and the Cook Islands will be her first time too.

“So far I’m satisfied with my performance… even though I lost to Norfolk Island, Ireland and Malaysia, I gave them a good fight,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Brunei’s men’s triples team comprising Naim Brahim, Ali Bujang and Rahman Omar suffered two defeats and one win in the second day as they dropped one place to sixth in their section at the end of day two.

Brunei were defeated by the Spain trio of Nick Cole, Graham Cathcart and Pete Bonsor 19-11 before ousting NIU’s trio of Dalton Tagelagi, John Kumitau and Koloni Polima 23-14.

However, Brunei’s hopes of reaching the playoffs took a dent after falling in a 21-12 loss at the expense of the Norfolk Island’s trio of Brent Pauling, Mitchell Graham and Tim Sheridan.

The men’s triples team will conclude their qualifying group against England, Japan and Fiji.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin