PETALING JAYA: Gillian Lim (pic) had her sights fixed on the World Youth Championships (WYC). And, in a blink of an eyes, it was gone.

Having won the Masters title in the Asian Youth Championships last year in Kuching, the 21-year-old was gunning for a youth double with victory in her last WYC.

She was hell-bent on winning the championships scheduled for Sept 2-7 in Lima, Peru.

However, WYC has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governing body World Bowling has proposed that the tournament be held alongside the World Junior Championships (WJC) as a combined tournament in Helsingborg, Sweden, from June 26 to July 4 next year.

That means Gillian is ineligible to take part in the competition as, at 22, she will be overaged next year.

Gillian did not hide her disappointment.

“I feel sad about the postponement of the WYC because this was to be my last year in the tournament, ” she said.

“Before this crisis, I was looking forward to the World Youth because this is one of the key performance indicators for a national bowler.”

Last year, she won two golds at the Asian Youth Championships and was earmarked to do well in Peru.

Gillian is hopeful that a one-time exception would be made by raising the age eligibility for the event next year, but no updates have been given so far.

“So far, though, we have not received any updates from World Bowling.

“As far as I am concerned, if training resumes, there will likely only be local competitions like the national team’s monthly roll-offs.

“At this point, no one can promise anything as no one knows how soon this Covid-19 thing is going to end. Not only in Malaysia but the whole world.”

Gillian, who is part of the SEA Games 2021 squad, said the pandemic has affected everyone in the national team.

“I think every athlete is affected and we are not able to compete in the championships that we have set our sights on.

“Right now, all of us in the SEA Games squad are going through some challenging times, and it is up to us to follow the online training, especially our fitness.

“We are also improvising our physical game like our footwork and release. Ultimately, I will be working on the strength of my wrist to improve on my release and getting fewer injuries during intense competition.”

All copyrights for this article are reserved to The Star