By Wong Jeng Teng
Claiming top honours at the 2014 Asian Games, the 2015 SEA Games, and a Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) title, TeamSG Bowler Jazreel Tan has come a long way since she first started out in the sport.
Despite having spent more than 10 years bowling competitively since her initial foray down the lanes, she still remembers the very first time she represented Singapore in an overseas competition, taking part in an Asian-level youth tournament when she was 15.
“I just remember being this kid [who] was wow-ing at everything because it was [all] very different from competitions at home,” she laughed.
Fast-forward 10 years, Jazreel reached one of the highest points in her career when our TeamSG side defeated their South Korean opponents to win the team gold medal at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.
Our Women’s team in 2014 Asian Games
(L to R: Joey Yeo, Jazreel Tan, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng, Daphne Tan and Cherie Tan)
“It was very memorable because the [South] Koreans are known to be the best in the world, so to be able to beat them, not just in the team event but also on their home ground – [that was] quite crazy!” she enthused.
The win was well-deserved for our team including New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng, Daphne Tan, Cherie Tan and Joey Yeo (pictured above) – who have all since become notable names within the local, and even international bowling scene.
“We push ourselves really hard at training, [and] at the gym. So when we go out there, we know that it’s in our control to put ourselves in the position to win something,” said Jazreel, on how she felt competing alongside such a strong team.
With her teammates performing at such high standards consistently, it only serves to drive Jazreel on and motivates her to progress further in her sport. Apart from training together, the TeamSG Bowlers also often help each other to improve their skills and discuss new techniques.
“Teammates are not just here to support you – teammates are there for you to learn from each other. With the Singapore bowling team being of such high calibre [and] talent, it’s just nice to be able to learn from each other and not to always rely on the coaches because the coaches can’t be there behind you for every single shot,” she elaborated.
Jazreel and her teammates (photo credit: Jazreel)
While Jazreel has had plenty of opportunities competing alongside her teammates, she has had her fair share of experiences competing against them as well. More notably, she was in an all-Singapore final with Daphne for the Women’s Masters title at the previous SEA Games, where she ultimately emerged triumphant.
“It’s never nice to go up against your own teammate, but the good thing about that is it meant that we’ve [TeamSG] secured the gold medal,” she shared.
This August, our star Bowlers will be representing Singapore at the SEA Games once again, and Jazreel is hoping to better their performance in 2015, when they swept three gold and four silver medals.
When asked if she felt the pressure to win, Jazreel shared that expectations inevitably create stress, but she was confident of channeling those emotions into a form of encouragement.
“As an athlete, you just have to try and send those negative thoughts and expectations into something positive, something that could actually help [to] boost your confidence, and help give yourself some encouragement,” she explained
Feeling assured about the team’s preparations ahead of the KL SEA Games, Jazreel concluded: “If anything, we’re more experienced, and we’ve improved in terms of skills since 2015. That is going to help us, come this August.”
Bowling team for 2017 SEA Games (photo credit: Jazreel)
As we close in on the SEA Games, get ready to cheer for our TeamSG Bowling team, and let them feel the #OneTeamSG spirit! Head over to our Team Singapore Facebook page to receive updates and read the latest news on all our athletes!
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