BOWLING: Koreans are rolling in

Last year's AMF World Cup champion Shayna Ng of Singapore, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia and Asian champion Hussain Al-Suwaidi of the United Arab Emirates are the other big names.

American professionals Tommy Jones and Kelly Kulick, who won the event three years ago, have not responded to invitations from the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) while compatriots Shaun Rush, Chris Barnes and Shannon O' Keefe have turned down the invitation.

The tournament will gather more than 300 bowlers.

MTBC president Datuk P.S. Nathan said Korea will be sending their biggest ever contingent while Singapore have entered 80 bowlers.

"This tournament is one of the richest in Asia and is regarded highly by international bowlers. We have included a new event -- senior 'Open' -- to add more prestige to the tournament," said Nathan.

The Malaysian Open, however, does not have a title sponsor after the contract with Canon ended recently.

"We are speaking to several prospective sponsors for the new season. As for this tournament, Canon's absence does not affect the event too much with Astro onboard.

"Sponsors for bowling events get good mileage as we often win tournaments," said Nathan.

The Malaysian Open was originally scheduled for May but was moved to November due to the general elections.

On whether the MTBC Cup, formerly known as Canon Cup, will be hosted this year, Nathan confirmed it will not be held.

"Canon is not our sponsor anymore. The competition may return next year under a new sponsor," Nathan added.

Zandra will get to keep the tournament's trophy if she wins it a third straight time this year.

She is hoping to make amends after a below-par performance in the world meet in Nevada.

"It was a disappointing affair in the world meet despite trying my best. Several things affected my game and I had to take a break for one month to re-energise myself.

"The time off from the game has helped as I am doing well in training. I will try my best to land a title here," said Zandra, who is engaged to national football captain Safiq Rahim.

Zulmazran Zulkifli is the defending champion in the men's Open.


*** Sumber dari New Straits Times


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