KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The decision by national tenpin bowling queen Shalin Zulkifli to retire from the sport has had a profound effect on her teammates, who have described the senior kegler as an extraordinary athlete.

National bowler Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman said the 42-year-old athlete had a phenomenal aura, and always provided a morale boost to her teammates during a tournament.

“Because when she (Shalin) is there, we feel more enthusiastic. We know she is the type who never gives up, and she will support the other teammates, especially when they are not bowling too well,” she told Bernama, today.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Rafiq Ismail said although Shalin was in a class of her own with some outstanding achievements in international tournaments, her down-to-earth demeanor meant she never hesitated in providing guidance to the younger players in the squad.

“Actually, I was a bit surprised to find out that sister Shalin is retiring, because she is an integral part of our large tenpin bowling family.

“But everyone’s career has to eventually come to an end, so I pray for the best (for her) and I hope Shalin always prays for us as well after this,” said the 2018 Hong Kong World Championship gold medallist.

Shalin, who collected a whopping 74 international medals during her 28-year bowling career, submitted her resignation letter to head coach Holloway Cheah, on Tuesday.

She was named National Sportswoman five times (1994, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2002).

The former Asian number one has also won three gold medals at the World Championships, namely in 2003 (Malaysia), 2007 (Mexico), and 2017 (Las Vegas, USA). — Bernama