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Malaysian lawn bowls star eyes a 'trick'

October 02, 2010 15:21 IST

Malaysian lawn bowls star Siti Zalina Ahmad is hoping for a double at the Delhi Commonwealth Games -- a hat-trick in the lawn bowls singles and the honour of carrying her nation's flag at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday.

"This is a great opportunity for me to get three straight Commonwealth Games gold," Zalina said. "The competition is going to be extremely tough, with some of the best lawn bowl players from Scotland, England, South Africa and also India being in the competition."

- Commonwealth Games coverage

Zalina expects a good showing from the Malaysian squad.

"We have three members in the women's team and three in the men's. That basically means we are in the run for six gold medals and we will try to win as many as possible."

"Our contingent would be really looking at ten gold medals. We have a great chance in men's badminton and women's squash, as we have the world's top player in both events," she adds.

Zalina's success story in lawn bowls at the Commonwealth Games began as a 15-year-old, when she won a bronze in the threes event in her home Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Thereafter, she went on to win gold medals at Manchester (2002) and Melbourne (2006).

Having recovered from a minor surgery recently to make it to the Delhi Games squad, she is thrilled about carrying the country's flag at the Opening Ceremony.

"It is a great honour. Lawn bowls isn't a very popular game in Malaysia so this is indeed great," said the 31-year-old.

The Games Village, especially the International Zone, has impressed the athlete.

"I really like the International Zone. There is a lot of stuff to do here. The amphitheatre is also great and I love the cultural shows there."

While lawn bowls keep her occupied most of the time, Zalina also finds time for hockey and netball. But that's "only for fun".

Harish Kotian New Delhi