Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Zulmazran going for a rare hattrick title

33rd Canon Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship 2010
Zulmazran Zulkilfi, the defending champion who is going for a rare three-in-row title in ongoing 33rd Canon Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship at the Sunway Mega Lanes, wants to take one stage at a time.
Fresh from the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Paris where he and fellow teammate, Adrian And finished third and second respectively, Zulmazran said that without doubt he wants to defend his tile and win it for a third time.
“However, my first priority to bowl well in the qualifiers and line myself up for the challenge,” said Zulmazran who returned this morning with his teammates from Paris.
As defending champion, Zulmazran automatically qualifies for the Men’s Open Masters Round 1. However, if Zulmaran bowls in the qualifiers and finishes among the top four, he gets a further exemption of having to bowl in Round 1 and proceed to Round 2.
In Round 1, a  total of 33 bowlers – defending champion, 5th to 12 placed from the Local qualifiers, 5th to 12th Overseas qualifiers, top 13 qualifiers from local and overseas pool, and top 3 from the“Desperado” squad – will bowl eight games, before the top 25 qualify for Round 2.
In Round 2, a total of 33 bowlers - top 25 from Round 1, 1st to 4th from Local qualifiers, 1st to 4th Overseas qualifiers – will bowl another eight games before top eight will make the quarterfinals elimination round over a best of three games.
“If I can finish among the top four and qualify for the Second round, it will make things easier. That will be my target,” said Zulmazaran 26-year-old lad.
“However, if I am in the match-play round (quarterfinals onwards), it is not going to be easy for anyone to beat me because I am determined to go all the way,” said the highly charged Zulmazran.
Zulmazran said that he has come from Paris with valuable experience.
“In my career, the Euro Challenge has been the most competitive championship I have competed in,” said Zulmazran.
“Before the start of the Euro Challenge and after having a look at the list of bowlers, I and Adrian were telling ourselves, how great it will be to be among the top eight at the end of the championship.
“Imagine our satisfaction having finished second and third. Of course, I would have been more satisfied if I had finished higher and Adrian won the title. But still it was a great effort by us.”
 Checking out the scene....Adrian and Zulmazran at the Sunway Mega Lanes yesterday checking on the other bowlers after arriving from Paris earlier in the morning.

Asked what they did differently to have achieved the creditable result, Zulmazran said that high competitive field, did not give them any room for mistakes or take things easy.
“Firstly, we had trained here in Malaysia under much difficult conditions and the lane conditions at the championship were easier. But that meant that everyone was shooting high games and 230 was borderline score," said Zulmazran who highest score in the championship was 290.
He fired the hi-score in the early rounds where he spared his opening frame before chalking strikes all the way home.
 “We had to raise our game and stayed focused and minimise mistakes.
“This will be the same approach I will be adopting in the Malaysian Open and I hope everything falls in place.”
In absence of the top national bowlers who just returned from Paris yesterday, the national back-up bowlers were hogging the limelight in the Malaysian Open.
National back-up bowler, Kang Bo Long heads the Men’s Open qualifiers, while Dayang Khairuniza also from the back-up squad leads the Ladies Open qualifiers.
In the Men’s foreign pool qualifiers, India’s Dilbir Singh leads the pack while in the Ladies foreign pool, Indonesia’s Tanya Roumimper leads the pack.
USA’s Carolyn Ballard, the defending champion of the Ladies title, arrived yesterday will take the lanes today together with the national bowlers who returned from Paris.
The real competition will definitely begin today as the scramble for the Round 1 heats up.

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