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Sweet Surprises

3 Wins Make Muhammad Jaris Goh Man Of The Moment

“And, the Bowler of the Year is… Jaris Goh!”
“And, the winner of the Moo Soon Chong Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year is… Jaris Goh!”
“And, The Straits Times Athlete of the Year is… Jaris Goh!”

Three times in 10 days, that sweet refrain rang out for Muhammad Jaris Goh Ali Akbar Goh, stumping him speechless on all three occasions.

“I really didn’t expect to win all those awards. The Singapore Bowling Federation award on 12 February could have gone to any of the bowlers on the two teams that won the Asian Games Men’s Trios bronze or the World Men’s Bowling Championships Team bronze; The ST award on 21 February had strong contenders like shooter Martina Veloso and swimmer Joseph Schooling who had won big at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” said the Singapore Sports School Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management final-year student-athlete.

Introducing Jaris as a finalist for The ST award, an article published on 19 January 2019 said: “…it is this ability to spark a fire in the bellies of the troops around him that many believe has inspired the bowling men in what was a ‘superb 2018’.” The article went on to say: “His ability to inspire a breakthrough in the team is a key reason he is a nominee for The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award.”
Indeed, Jaris is inspirational. In 2014, at 19 years old, he was named Singapore Bowling Men’s Team Captain – a responsibility that he continues to carry today. It is his leadership and drive that has fired a young Singapore team to win the Men’s Team gold medal at the Sea Games in 2017 – a first in 22 years; he led the Men’s Trios to a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2018 – a first in 12 years since the event was included in 2006; and he fired his troop to the Team bronze medal at the World Men’s Championships in 2018 – a first in 64 years since the World Tenpin Bowling Championships was inaugurated in 1954.

It was in 2014 when Jaris represented Singapore at the World Cup for the first time. At 19 years old, he finished 36 among 82 male bowlers. In 2015, Jaris qualified to represent Singapore in the World Cup again. This time, he finished with a bronze medal to rank the World No. 3 Amateur Bowler in 2015. Bowling is not an Olympic sport, so the highest level of competition is the World Cup or World Championship. At 24 years old, Jaris has represented Singapore in five major world-level competitions – and medalled twice, the latest in 2018.

In the classroom, Jaris was an EM3 pupil in primary school. He enrolled into the Normal Technical Stream at Singapore Sports School. He worked hard, was among the top-3 Normal Technical Stream students and progressed to ITE. There, while bowling at a high-performance level, he kept up with his studies to become the ITE Valedictorian with a Grade Point Average of 3.625 points out of a possible 4 points. He was accepted by Republic Polytechnic for its DSLM programme and studied the customised course at Sports School. Jaris is scheduled to graduate from his post-secondary Diploma course in May 2019.