A NEW bowling champion will be crowned in the Raj Charan National Singles today after defending champion Abdul Kalim failed to make the cut.
Kalim lost to Suva's B-grade champ Sai Baba 16-21 in the biggest upset of the first round, which saw him lose out of the qualifiers on countback.
Fiji Bowling Association president Mazid Khan said Kalim, who is also a national rep, was not feeling well during the game.
"Sai went on and in the end lost 21-nil to the other bowler. So basically it depends on how a bowler performs on the day and Kalim was sick and wasn't feeling well," Khan said.
Kalim, who is preparing for the World Singles event in Cyprus later this month, was using the national singles as a build-up.
Meanwhile, David Aitcheson, Arun Kumar, Dan Lum On, Samuela Tui, Jai Singh, Semesa Naiseruvati, Laqere J and Emononi Turagabeci made it to the qualifiers, which will be played today.
Aitcheson will play Kumar, Lum takes on Tui, Singh will battle Naiseruvati and Laqere J faces Turagabeci in the top eight clashes.
Khan was pleased with the performance of the national reps, who are preparing for the upcoming world events.
"It was very exciting to note the performance of the Fiji team squad members. They all came out undefeated, which is a good sign of the preparation."
Kalim, Kumar, Naiseruvati, Tui and Aitcheson are part of the national team.
Round One Results - Singh 21 Turagabeci 20, Martin Fong 21 Lum On 19, Mazid Khan 21 Kafoa Pene 18, Tui 21 Nicholas Thaggard 1, Kumar 21 Wise 11, Kumar 21 Edward Reece 4, Curtis Mar 21 A Taoka 14, Mar 21 Deo Narayan 8.