Malaysia optimistic of getting fourth gold

NEW CLARK CITY (Philippines), Dec 3 — Head coach Zuraidi Puteh is confident that the national lawn bowls squad can claim their fourth gold through the Men’s Fours in the 30th SEA Games on the final day of the competition at CDC Lot, Friendship Gate, near here, tomorrow.

Although Brunei would seek revenge after losing to Malaysia in the preliminary round, he is confident the national players would rise to the occasion again in the finals.

“The Brunei team lost to our team in a preliminary round and I expect them to bounce back strongly as they performed well before losing narrowly to Singapore in another preliminary round match today.

“It is not easy for the Brunei team to qualify for the Men’s Fours finals as there are other strong teams in the event such as Thailand and the hosts,” he told Bernama today.

In today’s preliminary round match, Brunei lost 11-13 to Singapore while Malaysia beat Thailand 19-16. However, Malaysia and Brunei advanced to the final after gaining a better-accumulated scoring point compared to Singapore and Thailand after the preliminary round matches ended.

Zuraidi said he was disappointed that they could not match the country’s five-gold haul in Korat, Thailand in 2007, which was Malaysia’s best lawn bowls achievement outside of Kuala Lumpur.

The national women’s triples team failed to advance into the finals after missing out on points accumulated against Singapore and Thailand although all countries lost one match each in the preliminary round.

“The overall performance of the national lawn bowls squad at this year’s SEA Games was remarkably good. They still performed well although they faced great difficulties before and during the competition. Our level of play is still very high,” Zuraidi said.

Malaysia have won three golds and a bronze here.

The golds were contributed by the men’s triples, women’s pairs and women’s fours, while the bronze was won by Muhammad Hizlee Abdul Rais and Muhammad Soufi Ruslee in the men’s pairs. — Bernama

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