The Hong Kong ladies triples team is only one game away from a podium finish at the 2012 Men’s and Women’s World Championships in Adelaide, Australia.
On Thursday (Dec 6) 9.00 am local time (Dec 6 at 6.30 am Hong Kong time), the team will play New Zealand at the Lockleys Bowls Club in the play-off to fight for a place in the Semi-finals. As both losing Semi-finalists will be ranked third, a win on Thursday will guarantee at least a bronze for the winning team.
The Hong Kong team of Tammy Tham, Jessie So and Alice Lee performed exceptionally well during the tournament so far, winning the first nine games before losing to England and Australia, with the hosts leap-frogging Hong Kong for top spot of the group.
Speaking from Adelaide, team manager Sanie Ng praised the trio’s team unity.
“The three of them formed a strong partnership right from the beginning of the tournament, probably due to the fact that they have been training together for quite some time now,” said Ng. “There is only encouragement and no one blaming anyone when an adverse situation arises. This is important, as this keep a high morale for the team.”
Their toughest test was in the ninth game when they were playing Spain, who, by then, did not have a chance of qualifying. Knowing that they just needed one more win to secure their play-off position, nerves bit and the Hong Kong team was always on the down side during the game. But, in the last end when Hong Kong was losing 11:12 and Spain was holding a shot in the end, skipper Alice Lee played her last shot superbly. Her bowl pushed away Spain’s winning bowl and trailed the jack for a two-shot win.
The team won the game 13:12 and ensured their progress to the play-off.
According to Ng, the team came into the tournament as the underdog and this also helped their games.
“Their presence on the global stage is only limited to the Asian level, so they are literally a nobody at this level. Their opponents don’t know what to expect and by the time they found out, it was always too late.
“In the last two games, England and Australia came in prepared, so they got a result.
“We expect New Zealand will come into the play-off with more preparation as they have suffered in the preliminary rounds. This will be a real test for us. We just need to believe in ourselves and anything can happen,” said a confident Ng.
Should the Hong Kong team get through to the Semi-finals, awaiting them will be Scotland, the team that topped the other round-robin group. This game will be played later on Thursday at 1.30 pm (HK, 11 am). The Final will be on Saturday Dec 8.
Meanwhile, Tammy Tham narrowly missed a chance to enter the Singles play-off by just two shots. She was level on points with Ireland’s Cliodhan Eadie and South Africa’s Tracy-Lee Botha after the 11 rounds of competition. Tham had 34 shots, but lost to Eadie’s 36 and Botha’s 38 shots. She finished eighth overall.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.