Team Singapore Bowler Jaris Goh all set to make his debut at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
He may be one of the youngest in Team Singapore’s bowling contingent but Jaris Goh has impressed national selectors with his tenacity as he prepare to make his debut at the upcoming Asian Games.
Previously a student of the Singapore Sports School, the jovial and friendly Jaris will join 11 other bowlers in Incheon, South Korea. He will be competing in the Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team and All-Events.
Jaris’ steady climb into the national squad has been inspirational. Defiant in the face of adversity, Jaris does not bow to pressure and often rises up to the challenges he faces in life.
“One of the greatest challenges I faced was during my secondary school days where being fit was one of the criteria and I was not. And if you are not fit, you will not be legible to compete for overseas tournament,” said the 2014 Sports Boy of the Year.
Those worries were finally behind him as he meticulously mapped out a plan that caught the attention of his mentor.
“I got very worried about that as I wanted to do better. I overcame that by going to the track three times a week and the gym six times a week,” added Jaris. “I also gave up on my favourite meal – supper!”
“The coaches saw that I was putting in a lot of effort to lose weight. I suppose I succeeded as they decided to send me to an overseas competition. I have not looked back since,” exclaimed Jaris who is under the tutelage of former national bowler Remy Ong.
Despite the pressure on the team in any competition, Jaris revealed that the team does know how to have a good laugh too, sharing an unforgettable moment in his bowling career.
“Usually when I bowl a strike, I would shout "Majulah" and my teammates will shout "Singapura”. There was once, coach and my teammates knew that we had already won the Gold medal but I was too into the game and didn’t notice,” explained the double Gold medallist at the 2013 Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships.
“So my teammates thought that it would be funny if I were to shout "Majulah" when I strike, they will just pretend that they were packing their bags.
“I really did get a strike because I thought we still needed to fight for that Gold and when I turned back and shouted "Majulah", all of them pretended to pack their bags and the crowd laughed and clapped for me,” recalled Jaris.
Team Singapore Bowler Shayna Ng, who won Gold in the Women's Trios and Silver in the Women's Singles in Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Also looking to make her mark in South Korea is Shayna Ng. The 2014 Sportswoman of the Year will be making her second appearance in the Asian Games having represented Team Singapore at the previous meet in 2010 in Guangzhou, China.
Four years ago, Shayna won the Gold medal in the Women’s Trios category with teammates Cherie Tan Shi Hua and Geraldine Ng Su Yi and Silver in the Women’s Singles.
Her experience will certainly be an added advantage for the team, having also won honours in the region and in the international circuit.
Shayna came in first in the 2013 DHC International World Bowling Tour and 2012 World Cup. She also struck Gold in the 2011 SEA Games in the Team’s Event and brought home Bronze in the All-Events.
“The challenge is to win after I have won. I always feel that it's difficult to win, but it's even harder to win again,” explained Shayna. “Expectations go up, pressure goes up, it is a whole new ball game. I try to overcome that by focusing on the process and not the outcome. I am my biggest opponent.”
Although the Asian Games will be in South Korea, Shayna is always thankful for the support she gets from Singaporeans and uses it as a source of energy to perform her very best.
“I feel good knowing that I have done my country and the people proud, and I credit it to all the people supporting me because I might not have succeeded if not for them,” commented the former Republic Polytechnic student.
Show your support for Jaris, Shayna and the rest of the contingent as they begin their Asian Games journey on 19 September. Continue to pledge your support for our Team Singapore athletes via www.facebook.com/teamsg and instagram! #OurTeamSG
Subscribe to our 17th Asian Games
playlist to watch Team Singapore live in action.