Saturday, November 14, 2009

Melaka welcomes the world's bowling fraternity

45th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup - Nov 13-20 (Melaka International Bowling Centre, Air Keroh)

It is all systems go for the 45th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, which officially rolls tomorrow at the Melaka International Bowling Centre (MIBC), with the official practice followed by the championship proper on Monday.

Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam, the Chief Minister of Melaka, in a Press Conference yesterday, expressed his satisfaction with the preparations for the championship and was confident that the world bowling fraternity will have the best facilities, accommodation, hospitality and a memorable experience of Melaka.

“We are all ready to welcome the world bowling fraternity,” declared Mohd Ali.

“Melaka is indeed proud to have been given the opportunity to hold a world-class event like the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, where more than 90 countries and about 150 bowlers will compete.

“It is indeed an honour to Melaka and to Malaysia, where the championship is only coming to our shores for the second time in the 45 years history of the championship. (The championship was first hosted at the Miramar Bowl in Kuala Lumpur in 1987.”

The Melaka Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam proudly showing off the sovenior programme to the media. On the Chief Minister's left is Wan Ahmad Lofti Datuk Paduka Wan Ibrahim, the corporate advisor of MIBC and the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup - pictures courtesy of Hero Noda - QubicaAMF official photographer.

Mohd Ali later visited the state-of-the art 52 lanes (split house – 26-26 lanes) MIBC located in Air Keroh which was officially opened by him on Aug 1.

Singapore's team manager Melvin Lim explaining to Mohd Ali Rustam the process of ball control examination to get the bowling balls official approved. Form the left is MTBC secretary-general Sidney Tung also the technical delegate for the championship appointed by WTBA, B.C. Cheah the Malaysian team manager, Anne-Marie Board, the manager of tournament (in the background), the Chief Minister, Bernard Gibbons, the Tournament Director, and Fadzil Ibrahim from MIBC..

It was like a carnival atmosphere at the MIBC with booths inside and stalls surrounding the building.

Mohd Ali took time to visit all the booths and stalls before checking out the centre. He spent close to an hour at the centre with MIBC advisor, Wan Ahmad Lofti Datuk Paduka Wan Ibrahim showing him around.

The Chief Minister also met with with Siti Safiyah Amirah at the MIBC

Mohd Ali also said that Melaka would be known to 500 million people around the world through the championship that will be aired in all the participating countries after the event.

QubicaAMF, the owners of the championship have made provision for the tapes of the championship to be provided for free to all the participating countries for their local television stations to air it.

Three international stations – ESPN, Eurosports and Fox TV, will also be giving daily coverage on the event while AstroSports 2 (Channel 816) will carry live the semifinals and final on Thursday.

“It is not only the championship that will be viewed throughout the world, but footages of the historical city of Melaka will also be aired as prelude to the programme,” he said.

“Without doubt, this championship is part of the sports tourism efforts of Melaka, which the new product we are offering to the world to enhance tourism.

Mohd Ali added that the forecast for arrival of tourists to Melaka from January to August was 7.4 million and Melaka received 5.4 million tourists. Melaka is expected to collect an estimated RM3.8 billion in tourist revenue by the end of the year.

He also revealed that the tourism revenue estimate for 2010 was an increase of RM8.2 million – a 10.8% increase for this year or a total of RM4.5 billion tourism revenue.

Mohd Ali also acknowledged that sports tourism plays its role in promoting Melaka and in bringing in the tourists and expressed his hope that more events that of international status will be held here.

The Chief Minister concluded his press conference with the hope that Malaysia’s representatives, Zulmazran Zulkilfi and Siti Safiyah Amirah, despite up against a world-class field in a very competitive championship, will perform to do the nation proud with a world-class performance too.

Later in the night yesterday, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, was at the MIBC to meet Zulmazran and Siti, to wish them well for the championship before taking part in bowling competition with representatives from the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM), local Media, Chief Minister’s Office, Melaka Sports Division and MIBC.

Meanwhile, a majority of the bowlers have arrived, with the rest a few expected by tonight.

The unofficial practices started yesterday and will continue today, before the official practice on Sunday followed by the Welcome Dinner at night.

The championship will roll off Monday morning.

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