CONSISTENT: Jacqueline brings respectability to team
JACQUELINE Jenelee Sijore emerged as the star performer while her teammates were inconsistent in their World Youth Championships campaign which ended in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Compatriots Hee Kar Yen and Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana managed to put up decent performances but Sin Li Jane was a disappointment despite being the most experienced.
Jacqueline, a world singles champion, continued her surge to stardom by almost single-handedly helping her team earn a respectable standing among the top bowling nations.
Overall, Malaysia finished sixth with a haul of two silver (Kar Yen - girls' singles and Jacqueline - masters) and one bronze (Jacqueline and Dayang - doubles), failing again to end their gold medal drought from the 2010 edition in Helsinki.
The boys' team comprising Aris Ardilla Santosoh, Syimir Abdul Razak, Johnathan Chan and Chong Jun Foo were woeful as none managed to make any impact.
Team manager Cheah Ban Cheng said the girls' squad did well to earn those medals.
"We could have won a gold but luck deserted Jacqueline when it mattered in the singles, doubles and masters," said Ban Cheng when contacted in Bangkok yesterday.
South Korea retained their title with an impressive haul of five gold and three bronze followed by the United States (3-3-1) and Sweden (1-0-3).
The Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC), however, needs to revamp its programme in order to continue producing quality bowlers.
"We need to review our programme as our rivals are investing a lot in youth development. We could be left behind if we are not careful," added Ban Cheng.
"Yes, we are concerned with the trend so we need to improve on our programmes."
On the performance of the boys' team, Ban Cheng said they were disappointing.
"They need to brush up on their physical game and spare shooting. None of them bowled to their potential here," said Ban Cheng, also the acting MTBC secretary-general.
MTBC, however, must take pro-active measures to expose its younger bowlers regularly on the Asian Tour to ensure the juniors are experienced enough for the next world youth meet.
If action is not taken quickly, Malaysia can forget about winning gold medals in the immediate future as without prior exposure, the youngsters will always find it tough to compete against the Koreans and the US, or even Singapore, who earned three silver and three bronze in Bangkok.