With the support her coaching staff and enough tryouts under her belt, the country’s best female bowler, Putty Insavilla Armein, a silver medalist at the previous Asian Games in Doha, is confident of a better finish at the upcoming Games in Guangzhou.
“For a key event such as this, we should have started preparing two years ago. However, I still strongly believe that we have a great shot at winning gold in Guangzhou with enough practice and coaching sessions,” 29-year-old Putty, who in 2005 became runner-up in the World Ranking Master, said Tuesday.
Putty and 11 fellow bowlers are officially registered in the bowling squad for November’s quadrennial Games. The team of 12 bowlers include five other female bowlers — Tannya Roumimper, Sharon Limansantoso, Shalima Zalsha, Ivana Hie, Novie Phang — and six male bowlers — Ryan Leonard Lalisang, Hengki Susanto, Dennis Ranova Pulunggono, Rangga Dwichandra Yudhira, Rudy Gunawan and William Widjaja.
At the Doha Games, the bowling contingent brought home a gold medal from Ryan Leonard Lalisang in the men’s singles event, while Putty brought home silver from the women’s singles.
“I hope that we finish by winning the women’s five team because it is the most prestigious event in bowling. Winning it means we become the strongest team in Asia,” Putty said, but acknowledged that cohesion within the team was not guaranteed because of the lack of preparation.
Meanwhile, the team manager of the contingent to the Games, Isra M. Tahir, emphasized strengthening his team’s endurance in the next six months. “Stamina has been our weakness in previous tournaments. Our bowlers are usually physically drained by the third day of competition.”
Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea are considered key contenders.
“The most important tryout is the Asian Championship in Dubai in October. It will serve as our final yardstick prior to the Games because most bowlers playing at the Games will participate in this championship,” said Putty.
The newly elected chairman of the Indonesian Bowling Association (PBI), Oky Harwanto Joedo, gave assurances that the Asian Championship was one of the six tournaments the team would use for tryouts before the Games.
The first tryout was the Asian Bowling Federation Tour (ABF) Tournament of Champions in March in Kuwait where Sharon won the women’s singles event and Ryan clinched the men’s singles.
The next tryouts will be the Philippines Open Championship in June, Macau International Open in June, World Men’s Championship in Germany in August and Hongkong Open in September.