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Fiji among early title favourites

7th July, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Fiji’s sole representatives in the ongoing Sabah Open Triples Tournament, or otherwise known as the Kinabalu Borneo Cup Open Triples Championship, are here not just to make up the numbers.

Tournament director Shuib Hashim has tipped the duo to be among the early favourites for the title that was last won by the Philippines’ national lawn bowlers namely Hazel Jagonoy, Vilma Ronalyn Greenlees and Rosita Bradborn.

However, this time around, the defending champions have opted out of the competition due to unforeseen circumstances.

This will make the duo of Abdul Kalim, 41, and Kushal Pillay, 42, among the favourites.

Shuib said that Kalim and Pillay, who are both Fiji national players, have teamed up with former Malaysia Lawn Bowls Federation secretary general Ramble Dallan Rice-Oxley in the tournament.

“This is the first time they are competing in the Kinabalu Borneo Cup Open Triples, and they are one of the favourites for the international event,” said Shuib, adding that the duo’s participation has also added more colour to the tournament organised by Sabah Lawn Bowls Association, of which Shuib is the deputy president.

According to Shuib, Kalim has done relatively well in international championships, where in 2009, he won two gold medals at the Pacific Games.

He was also the winner of the Tiger Bowls and China Open championships in 2010 and also the Fiji national champion in the same year.

In 2011, he won a bronze medal at the Asia Pacific Championship. As for Kushal, he has competed at the World Bowls championship in 2016.

He also competed at this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

For the record, the championship that ends on Sunday has attracted 52 teams, including from Hong Kong, Brunei, Thailand and Fiji as well as from Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan.

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