KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore's bowler Cherie Tan clinched the SEA Games gold in the women's singles event on Sunday (Aug 20), a win she has dedicated to her former coach who died prior to the competition.
The 29-year-old had trained under Mr Henry Tan since she was a teenager. She continued to be under his wing when he took over as the national women's bowling team head coach in 2006, until he retired in 2016.
Mr Tan died of heart failure on Thursday, the day the team departed for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
"He would come to the airport to receive us every time. He would come to our training to give us encouragement," shared Tan.
"He was a great mentor, I would say. Because he managed to keep us cool, even though I'm a little bit hot-headed. He had a calming presence. That was great for us."
And it was that very philosophy, according to the kegler, that helped her blitz through the singles event to finish first with a score of 1413, while Malaysia took both the silver and bronze medals.
Three of Singapore's bowlers finished just outside the top three: Shayna Ng, New Hui Fen and Jazreel Tan came in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
The women's team are taking part in a total of six events in Kuala Lumpur, and will dedicate all medals to Mr Tan.
"I feel he would be happy for us regardless of whether we win the gold or not. That's him," Tan told Channel NewsAsia.
"We are really glad to have had him with us throughout the whole journey here."