Hasan Al-Sheikh ready to take Saudi Arabian bowling to the next level

Hasan Al-Sheikh has high hopes for the future of the sport in the Kingdom. (supplied)
Updated 22 November 2018

Hasan Al-Sheikh ready to take Saudi Arabian bowling to the next level

  • Al-Sheikh and Co set to take part in the Hong Kong Championship on Friday.
  • Star bowler has sights set on winning international titles.

JEDDAH: Saudi Bowler Hasan Al-Sheikh finished 30th in the 54th World Single Championship taking place in the US city of Las Vegas, and on Friday lines-up in Hong Kong. Ahead of the Hong Kong tournament Arab News caught up with him.

How would you describe your participation in the Las Vegas Bowling Championship and was it your first?
Yes, this was my first Tim competing and it was a very special and beneficial experience.

What were the main challenges you had to face and who were you competing against?
I have faced many challenges, such as coming up against tough competitors. I also had to identify my mistakes and fix them as soon as possible. I was competing against some of the world’s best bowlers, including players from the American, Australian, Canadian, Finnish, Columbian and other national teams.

How do you evaluate the status of the Saudi bowling in international competitions in general?
The Saudi national team has achieved many international accomplishments, but there is still room for improvement to become one of the best teams competing internationally.

What is your biggest achievement and what do you look forward to?
In the 2006 Asian Games, I won a gold medal, two bronze medals and set a record that has not yet been broken. My main aim to try and win an international title

How do you manage to maintain a balance between your studies, social life and bowling?
It has always been challenging, but I try my best to manage my time.

As someone who started bowling as a child, what do you think is the best age to start bowling and do you think it is harder to do so as adults?
There are excellent bowlers who succeeded, yet they started learning to bowl as adults. However, the youngest tend to learn faster.

How do you feel about women joining the game this year for the first time?
It is a great step by the Saudi Bowling Federation that received a wide enthusiasm beyond expectations.

The next challenge is the Hong Kong Championship — what is so special about participating in this championship and how are you preparing for it?
It is a very important championship without a doubt; the last one this season and the hardest. I have been preparing for it by participating in local and international championships, and by competing against the best bowlers. We are seeking to go far and beyond and make our country proud. Last, I would like to thank my brother, Badr Al-Sheikh, president of the Saudi Bowling Federation and all those who have been supporting us through this journey and I hope that all these efforts will be fruitful in the next championships.

Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

Updated 2 min 2 sec ago

Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

  • Five-time world champion feeling confident of a sixth crown ahead of new season.
  • Pre-season testing going well in Barcelona.

BARCELONA: Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals they had better get ready to catch his dust as he is feeling “better than ever” ahead of the season.
The 34-year-old Briton enjoyed a near flawless run to secure his fifth drivers’ title last year. He won 11 of the 21 races to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with two races to spare, and he expects the Italian marque to once again keep him on his toes.
“Ferrari are very strong,” Hamilton said in Barcelona on the third day of pre-season testing.
“It appears they have a better package than last year, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us.
“In the last few years, Ferrari has looked good from the very beginning so that’s to be expected.”
But he said it would be a mistake to draw any hard and fast conclusions from the evidence thrown up by testing.
“We’ll have a better idea I guess this time next week where we stand but still then we won’t know what fuel loads everybody is on and who is showing their cars and who isn’t.”
Hamilton, with a new two-year deal that will earn him £40 million ($52 million) a season, is buzzing after the winter recess.
“I feel in the best shape that I’ve been in,” he assured his fans, as he embarks on his quest for a sixth championship and record sixth consecutive constructors’ crown for Mercedes.
On a sixth title he shrugged: “I am not even focusing on that. It’s a new season, a new year, a new chapter and we have to approach like it’s our first.
“We’re going for number one, that’s how I approach it.
“But it’s not something that I allow my peers to talk about. It’s not what we are here for to focus on that number.”
He dismissed out of hand any notion of complacency setting in at his all-conquering team.
“We are always driven to do something new and to break boundaries and do stuff that no one else has done before but we are fully aware of the work that it will take to deliver something like that and it’s by no means like ‘yeah we are going for the sixth’ like it’s a relaxed thing.
“It’s not like that.”
Hamilton’s bid for title number six begins at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17.