JEDDAH: Filipina players took the top three places at the sixth Women’s Singles Bowling Championship, which was held at Jeddah City Bowling Center on Friday.
Rica Ventura won the gold medal and top prize of SR 4,000. Mica Ecalnir took the silver medal and SR 2,000, while Elizapeth Policarpio received the bronze medal and SR 1,000
Fifty-six players from six countries — the Philippines, Malaysia, Kuwait, Eritrea, Tanzania, and Saudi Arabia — competed in the event, which was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation and sponsored by Arab News and Arriyadiyah newspapers. The Saudi players came from Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.
Dr. Razan Baker, a member of the federation’s board of directors, presented the winners with their prizes. She noted that since the fifth championship in Alkhobar, 30 new players —Saudis and foreigners — had joined the federation.
“The tournament has seen an increase in the number of competitors…which shows the interest in the game in Saudi society, and gives us an incentive to provide more,” she said, as she highlighted how far the sport has come in Saudi Arabia in just two years.
“We have come a long way from having only a small team in Alkhobar to having three teams this year in Jeddah, Riyadh and Alkhobar, in addition to creating a new bowling community of mixed nationalities, including Saudis, who are eager to participate and happy to travel from one city to another to play, have fun and enhance their experiences and skills.”
Among the players were four Malaysians who were competing for the first time in the Saudi league.
Malaysian bowler Nurima Saydak said: “There were about 45 Malaysian players in Saudi Arabia and they were keen to play in Filipino and Malaysian tournaments. Now we are happy to participate in the Saudi women’s league (where we can have) a wonderful time while developing our skills.”
Three deaf players from Jeddah — Lujain Bashnini, Duaa Bukhari and Elaf Issa — also competed for the first time in the championship, under the supervision of Dr. Faiza Natto, chair of the board of Deaf Women in Jeddah and a member of the Saudi Deaf Sport Federation.
She said the players were part of a team of 12 deaf people who began bowling about five months ago, and that the experience has helped them to conquer their fears and increase their self-confidence by encouraging them to become role models. She added that Alanoud Al-Aslab, a 17-year-old student, had played a big role in forming the team, out of a desire to help and encourage deaf people.
Baker concluded the event by highlighting the great achievements of the Saudi Bowling Federation, especially its support of women, in less than two years since Saudi women began to play and participate in a local and international tournaments, which she said was a great incentive for them to continue to improve and compete on a global level.