ZUL WINS BATTLE AGINSTS HIMSELF
Saturday, 12 May 2012
It has been a long and winding road for Zulmazran Zulkifli, but his patience and believing in himself finally paid off when he won the 35th Canon Malaysian International Open Bowling Championship at the Sunway Mega Lanes this winning defeating top seed Mark Wong from Singapore.
Zulmazran as the challenger and seed number three won the title after winning the first game 228 -188 and the second game 269-228.
Zulmazran who turns 29 on Nov 20, has been battling with his performance ever since he picked up an arm injury just before the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.
â€œIt is a victory long overdue. I have waited so long for this moment,â€ said Zulmazran who was all emotional and crying during the interview.
â€œOnly my coaches and God knows how much I had to go through. But I plodded on and worked very hard. After each competition I would spend a lot of time analyzing my game, correcting my mistakes and building my confidence.
â€œDuring the last two tournaments the DHC International tournament in Japan and the Brunswick Euro Challenge, I was close to victories and I knew it was only a matter of time before I win a title,â€ said Zulmazran who last won a medal in the Commonwealth championship in Malaysia early last year.
â€œBut it was not easy here in the Malaysian Open either. I had to work hard. Even to make the final I had to go the distance when the berth was decided by a sudden-death ball throw. And in the final, as the challenger, I had to win two games for the title.â€
Zulmazran qualified for the final by the skin of his teeth when he had to bowl a sudden-death one ball after he and Singaporeâ€™s Keith Saw were tied at 245 in the semifinals.
Zulmazran who choose to bowl first, hit a strike, while Keith managed nine pins leaving pin 4 to bow out. The third bowler in the semifinals, PBA bowler Sean Rash, the sixth seed who had qualified after winning his quarterfinals round, could only manage 174.
Earlier in the quarterfinals Sean had fired 237 against fourth seed and national bowler Syafiq Ridhwan (235) and USAâ€™s Dino Castillo (216).
Zulmazranâ€™s victory was his third in the championship after having won back-to-back victories in 2008 and 2009.
â€œThe Malaysian Open has always had a special place in my heart since in my debut championship in 2002 I finished runners-up. I told myself that I want to win this championship over and over. Winning it a third time is special, especially under the circumstances I had to win it â€“ with all the trials and tribulations,â€ said Zulmazran.
Zulmazran will compete in the Euro-Med championship in Manila next year before heading to the Singapore Open at the end of the month.
Zulmazran may have finally conquered his fears, but he is one who will not stop working hard or rest on his laurels. 2012 could well be a memorable year for Zulmazran.
Reported by Tony Mariadass