The six-member Malaysian side billed as the “strongest in recent years” by head coach Holloway Cheah, duly delivered.
Shalin Zulkifli, Sin Li Jane, Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman, Syaidatul Afifah Badrul Hamidi, Natasha Roslan and Esther Cheah rose to the occasion to beat arch-rivals and top seeds Singapore 2-0 in the best-of-three Baker format match play at the South Point Bowling Centre on Dec 3.
Malaysia qualified for the top four medal playoffs in the second spot after chalking up a 6,227 total in the 30-nation contest.
The win marked Malaysia’s third victory in the event having also won the Kuala Lumpur edition in 2003. It was also the nation’s sixth gold since the inception of the world meet in 1954.
The other world titles were delivered by Esther (women’s singles in Aalborg, Denmark, 2005); Jacqueline Jenelee Sijore (women’s singles in Hong Kong, 2011); and Allan Hooi, Edward Lim and J.B. Koo (men’s trios in Manila, the Philippines, 1979).
Shalin, who was also part of the previous two winning sides, admitted to being amazed that, “I have now accomplished the feat with three different generations of bowlers.”
In 2003, she won with Sarah Yap, Wendy Chai, Sharon Chai and Choy Poh Lai. Four years later, she did it with Esther, Wendy, Sharon Koh and Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi.
“I’m so happy and blessed to have played alongside some of the finest bowlers of the different generations,” said Shalin.
“I actually thought about it the night before (the team title playoffs). It was a long process for us to build this great team.”
Holloway believed that a victory was never in doubt from the start. “We were confident all the way. I have said before that our team is very strong and we fear no one,” he said.
“We’ve shown that we are the best in the world! As these World Championships will probably be my last, the victory really means a lot to me,” shared Holloway.