Singapore bowlers eye redemption in Masters
Joey Yeo is the youngest, and the least heralded of Singapore's six female bowlers at the Asian Games. But the 21-year-old was the first one to brush away tears and speak up after the team finished a dismal seventh on Friday and surrendered the team gold medal that Singapore won four years ago in Incheon.
Yesterday, she continued to step up at the Jakabaring Bowling Centre in Palembang.
After the long-oil first block of the women's masters, her 1,941-pinfall total put her in the third and final qualifying spot for today's step-ladder finals, with teammate Daphne Tan, the only other Singaporean to qualify, two pins adrift in fourth.
Japan's Mirai Ishimoto tops the chart with 1,966 pinfalls, 25 ahead of Yeo, with Lee Yeon Ji (1,946) of South Korea in second spot. They all have eight games to play today in the medium-oil second block to cement their spot in the finals.
Yeo's form - and mood - had improved considerably since Friday. And it was clear that she was desperate to maintain that momentum yesterday.
Once the ball had left her hand, she seemed to want to return quickly to the start of the process that got her to that point in the first place.
Even before the ball struck and pins settled, she started to walk away from her lane - crossing midway into the adjacent one - then half turned to look.
She pasted a bubbly fist pump atop an awkward skip, before bouncing back to her coach for deserved high-fives, then put her head down and scribbled in a notebook. It was a scene often repeated.
"It was much better today. They came back stronger after the team event where they got hit. They came back to show that they are able to do it if they wanted to," said national head coach Jason Yeong-Nathan.
"We had a bad day for the team event (on Friday), but the thing you can always focus on is the process, what you can do, what's within your control - adapt and adjust as quickly as possible."
That is where the bowlers' little notebooks come in.
"It's just taking down notes on (which lines) they bowled on, so that if they come back to that (same) lane, they know where they bowled and what to move," Yeong-Nathan explained. - SHAMIR OSMAN, IN PALEMBANG