MTBC to send biggest squad to compete in Europe

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) will not let financial constraints stop them from giving their bowlers plenty of opportunities to improve.

MTBC have decided to send a strong 21-member squad comprising 10 men and 11 women – the biggest outside Asia by MTBC – to compete in the Brunswick Euro Challenge, the highest-tier tournament of the European Bowling Tour in Munich, Germany, from March 19-24.

Previously, only the elite bowlers were selected for the European tour but this time, the back-up bowlers have been included so that they will have an equal chance to fight for their places in major competitions such as the multi-sport Games and World Championships.

MTBC secretary-general Maradona Chok said only Rafiq Ismail and Nora Lyana Nastasia Norkamal would miss the trip. Rafiq is currently based in the United States while Nora is still unfit after undergoing surgery for her right wrist.

“We’ll be making our strongest presence ever in Europe. We’ve never sent more than 12 bowlers to any Open tournaments outside of Asia,” said Maradona.

“We are creating a fair ranking system for both elite and back-up bowlers by allowing them to compete in the same tournaments. We’ll be able to gauge them fairly.”

Maradona said they would enter a full team for two more stops in Europe – San Marino Open from July 6-14 and Track Dream-Bowl Palace Open in Germany from July 13-21.

“MTBC will continue to send national bowlers for competitions despite the recent budget cut,” said Maradona. “All we ask from the bowlers in return is to do their best and bring glory to the country.”

The team’s main assignments this year are the Women’s World Championships in Las Vegas (Aug 22-30), Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuwait (Oct 20-30) and the Philippines SEA Games (Nov 30-Dec 10).