Mixed Singles - (L-R) Gold medallists Mohamed Ismail Bin Hussain, Anuar Bin Saaid and Mohamad Rausyan Bin Mohamad Yaacob [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]
Team Singapore picked up three gold medals in bowling in spectacular fashion at the 8th ASEAN Para Games with youngster Mohamad Rausyan Bin Mohamad Ya’acob one of the stars of the show.
The 21-year-old was one of five Singaporeans to pick up medals in the mixed singles finals. The talented tenpin bowler had plenty of support from the home crowd at the Temasek Club on Friday as he competed in the TPB4 category, for those with an intellectual disability.
His mother Sumpina Taib said: “I am so happy to see my son win. We promised him a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland if he won.’’ Rausyan is a multi-talented sportsman having previously won a gold medal in the 2011 Special Olympics in badminton.
In fact it was a clean sweep in that category with Singaporean athletes bagging the top four spots. However, under games rules a country can only win a maximum of two medals per event. Eric Foo went home with the silver medal.
Anuar Bin Saaid won gold in the TPB8 category, a wheelchair-bound category, for Team Singapore with a last-gasp victory over the Philippines. For Saaid, it was "a dream come true’’ having previously won two bronze medals at the Asian Para Games last year.
The 53-year-old said: ‘’I never thought I would win a medal. I did this for my team, for Singapore and for all my family who came here to support me.’’ Saaid first took up bowling in 2002 as a way of keeping fit.
Team Singapore’s bowling team manager Darren Khemlani added: ‘’We didn’t set ourselves a medals target as I think it puts too much pressure on the athletes. If the medals come, they come.’’
Sadly, it was disappointment for 61-year-old Singaporean Thomas Yong who failed to win a medal, having struck gold in the tournament four years ago. The visually-impaired Yong finished fifth in the TPB1 category which was won by Malaysia’s Azuan Amir Hassan.
Mohamed Ismail Bin Hussain in action [Photo by Sport Singapore / Action Images via Reuters]
But his compatriot Mohamed Ismail Bin Hussain managed to win back-to-back gold medals in the TPB3 category, repeating his success of four years ago at the last ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia. Having struck gold at the Temasek Club in the singles category, Ismail is hoping to pick up top honours again in the doubles event on Saturday. This would be a carbon copy of his performance four years ago when he also bagged two golds.
The 32-year-old didn’t know he had won gold until his last stroke. He said: ‘’I didn’t want to know where I stood. What works best for me is not to know the standings so I told my coach to keep the scores away from me.’’ This strategy clearly paid off for Ismail, who has been a competitive bowler for five years.
He will be partnering Thomas Yong in Saturday’s doubles event which he is excited about. He added: ‘’I think Thomas will be fired up for the doubles and this will spur me on.’’ Despite the pressure of repeating his medal-winning feat in front of a home crowd, Ismail managed to keep his nerves. ‘’It’s all about keeping the processes,’’ he added.