Aiman Lim wins Singapore’s first boys’ singles title in over a decade at the Asian Junior Bowling C’ships
Aiman Lim’s excitement at winning the boys’ singles title at the Asian Junior Tenpin Bowling Championships on Monday was mixed with a tinge of disappointment.
The 18-year-old had just knocked down 1,373 pinfalls to become the first Singaporean to win the boys’ singles event at the regional competition since Javier Tan in 2012, but was left feeling lonely with none of his teammates able to join him on the podium.
Instead, he was joined by Qatar’s Bader Al Sada, who recorded 1,366 pinfalls to finish second at Singapore Bowling @ Rifle Range, while Japan’s Daiya Saito (1,297) claimed bronze. The Republic’s next highest placed finisher was Brian Ngoi (1,282 points for fifth).
Malaysian Adania Mohd Rezwan (1,327) won the girls’ event, with Australian Emily Hart (1,243) and Adania’s compatriot Lavina Kho (1,223) taking second and third respectively. Singapore’s Hazel Tan was fifth on 1,197 pinfalls.
Aiman said: “I was very happy that I was first but I was also a bit sad that none of my teammates could join me on the podium as I wanted at least two of us on the podium together to celebrate the podium for Singapore.
“It is quite a significant milestone, but to me the team event would mean a lot more than the singles.”
The Temasek Polytechnic student had topped the first squad of bowlers but had to wait as the second squad completed their six games before he was confirmed champion.
While he had won a singles crown, Aiman, who was second in the youth boys’ division in June’s Singapore International Open, insisted that it was a team effort.
He noted that the support of his friends and his coaches were what propelled him to victory on Monday. The five-day competition ends on Friday.
Aiman had got off to a good start, hitting scores of 225, 222, 247 and 255 in his first four games, but admitted to feeling nervous going into the final two games.
His teammates sensed this and tried to lighten the mood by cracking jokes. Aiman finished with scores of 207 and 217.
He said: “My first four games were very good and in my mind, I was trying to maintain that throughout the final two games but the lanes were getting a bit tough so I just had to make sure I was calm to make the shots.
“My teammates were trying to keep my emotions in check, making sure that I was calm and cool so that I can make my shots while my coaches would help me find out what the lanes are like so that I can score my best.”
He also credited the home support that comprised family members, members of the Singapore Bowling Federation and bowlers from other academies for keeping him motivated.
With the doubles and team events set to be contested next, Aiman is eyeing another gold in the latter.
He said: “It’s a team event and I feel like we all as a team should get a gold medal and that’s what we deserve for putting all the hard work together.”
Senior national assistant coach Jensen Lim attributed Aiman’s success at the regional competition to his shot-making consistency.
He was also pleased with the performance of Singapore’s 16 bowlers on the first day of the competition, saying: “Bowling with the field and under pressure is different from training.
“Today is the first time they felt it and with the information gathered today, we will try to maximise it for the next few events.”