Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
3rd lawn bowl silver for Brunei
Monday, August 28, 2017
Amaliah Matali with her silver medal

Abdul Rahman bin Haji Omar. – PHOTOS: INFOFOTO

BRUNEI Darussalam’s national lawn bowl athlete Amaliah Matali bagged the silver medal in the Women’s Singles event after falling to a 21-12 loss to Malaysia’s Emma Firyana Saroji in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the National Lawn Bowls Centre, Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Malaysian ace who possesses credentials as the 2015 World Champion of Champions Singles winner took a 11-4 lead before extending further 17-10 to put her in charge for the women’s crown.

With the winner awarded to the player who reaches 21 points, Amaliah collected two more points before Emma completed the win.

Emma’s win finally ended Malaysia’s gold medal jinx in the Women’s Singles at the SEA Games after losing out to a silver in the editions in 1999 (Brunei), 2001 (Kuala Lumpur) and 2007 (Korat) as well as bronze in 2005 (Manila).

Malaysia asserted their dominance in lawn bowls after winning seven gold medals out of eight categories contested with Malaysia’s Muhammad Soufi bin Rusli taking down the Men’s Singles title earlier after beating Singapore’s Lee Yuan Min 21-6.

The country has contributed three silver medals and one bronze in lawn bowls in this year’s edition which helped better their overall medal haul from two years ago in Singapore.

The national lawn bowler emphasised how much she wanted to win gold for the country.

Amaliah has likened the SEA Games champion as a Malaysia’s lawn bowls icon who boasts an impressive resume in her playing career being crowned Asia Cup winner in 2012.

The renowned bowler has also secured bronze in both the World Cup Junior in Hong Kong in 2009 and the World Cup Indoor in Warilla in 2011 while her recent success came in the World Champion of Champions and Commonwealth bronze in women’s fours in Glasgow.

“She is a must-win favourite in winning gold for Malaysia,” said the 2017 SEA Games silver medallist.

“Our team actually made a good comeback after the pre-SEA Games last month,” said Amaliah who took bronze in her event there.

“Especially with our ladies team, we got a medal back home with the Triples, Pairs and me in the Singles,” continued the national lawn bowler.

The national lawn bowler athlete, who claimed silver in the 2016 Champion of Champions in Christchurch, observed how far they have lagged behind with Malaysia. “We are far behind them in terms of training and everything,” she highlighted.

Amaliah has identified the urgency to aid the development of lawn bowls in the country including the appointment of a proper professional coach and participating more in international tournaments which will serve as exposure.

She also recognised the importance of developing more junior players and called for more support from other agencies, especially with players having to balance their commitments.

Furthermore, she also encouraged the need to assemble a development squad and conduct a three-month intensive tournament in preparation for major competitions such as the SEA Games and the Commonwealth Games.

With Amaliah preparing for the gold medal match in Kuala Lumpur, social media vultures circled on Saturday night possibly in Brunei when a message went viral claiming that the national athlete had won gold with the match yet to be played.

The gold medal match was scheduled on Sunday afternoon following the conclusion of the Men’s Singles and the victory ceremony for the Men’s Singles.

Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for national lawn bowls athlete Abdul Rahman bin Haji Omar after being edged 20-21 by Philippines’ Elmer Abatoyo in the bronze medal match of the Men’s Singles.

The Bruneian missed out on the podium finish despite holding a 8-0 lead and then 13-6 but was beaten over the line on the 27th end.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin