Shirts off for cel­e­bra­tion

Bowler runs wild af­ter win­ning gold at Games

The Northern Star - - SPORT - BOWLS JIM BRIGGINSHAW women’s events, Aus­tralia won gold in the triples and fours and sil­ver in the pairs. Nathan Rice and Brett Wilkie. Sher­riff’s ad­di­tion to the state side makes it one of real strength. BRETT Wilkie, now Bowls Queens­land’s CEO, says i

WHEN 26-year-old Aaron Wil­son ripped off his shirt on win­ning the blue-rib­bon bowls sin­gles at the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games at Broad­beach, it marked a bril­liant Aus­tralian per­for­mance.

The over­all team landed five gold medals and two sil­ver from the 10 dis­ci­ples con­tested.

Wil­son, a Vic­to­rian now based at Cabra­matta, be­came only the third Aus­tralian bowler to win the Games’ pres­tige sin­gles – Kelvin Kerkow did it in 2006 and pi­o­neered the shirt-off cel­e­bra­tion, and Rob Par­rella in 1990.

Wil­son’s per­for­mance was classy af­ter a slow start. Down 2-7 af­ter seven ends he didn’t hit the front un­til End 13 and was 11-8 in the 21-up match. From there un­til the fin­ish Wil­son didn’t look like be­ing caught.

He drew bet­ter than his Cana­dian op­po­nent Ryan Bester, and even out­drove the man they call the Mas­ter Blaster. Supremely con­fi­dent in his own abil­ity, Wil­son drove the bare jack into the ditch with his first bowl on one end when Bester had a near toucher with his first.

The bril­liant Bester, who has long called Aus­tralia home and the Broad­beach greens his ter­ri­tory, lately has to get used to be­ing the brides­maid. Run­nerup in this, he also filled sec­ond place at the Glas­gow Games and the last two world bowls cham­pi­onships. And not for­get­ting our own Aaron Teys, who beat him in the fi­nal of the Aus­tralian Open sin­gles.

In other men’s events, Aus­tralia didn’t get on the podium in the pairs but won sil­ver in the triples and the fours.

Jo Ed­wards (New Zealand), who makes a habit of win­ning the big matches, took gold in the women’s sin­gles. In other

Golden duo

BOWLER Ken Han­son, 68, be­came the old­est Aus­tralian Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal­list in any sport when he skipped his team to a 14-13 win over New Zealand in the cat­e­gory bowlers with a dis­abil­ity.

Ear­lier, Lynne Sey­mour, 67, be­came the sec­ond old­est with her gold medal in the vi­sion­im­paired pairs.

Youth cham­pi­ons

BROAD­BEACH was the scene for the pre-Games 2018 world youth cham­pi­onships. And the re­sults showed that Aaron Teys is the best in the world in the Un­der-25s. He won the men’s sin­gles and on the same day took out the mixed pairs with Ellen Ryan.

The pair wound up their ti­tle win by an­ni­hi­lat­ing a com­pos­ite Scot­land/Nor­folk Is­land team 20-5 in the fi­nal. Teys over­came a Welsh­man in the sin­gles fi­nal, win­ning by a com­fort­able 21-12.

Great in­ven­tion

WHEN the late Trevor Henty in­vented the bowl­ing arm, he couldn’t have imag­ined the way it has caught on with bowlers who would have dif­fi­culty play­ing with­out it.

Vic­to­ria alone says that since it in­tro­duced ID cards for arm bowlers, more than 8000 play­ers have sought and re­ceived reg­is­tra­tion. This is just over 16% of the state’s reg­is­tered play­ers.

“The amaz­ing take-up of arm bowl­ing is tes­ta­ment to the love of play­ing and the in­ge­nu­ity of the in­ven­tion,” Bowls Vic­to­ria says.

New Sher­riff

ARON Sher­riff will rep­re­sent Queens­land for the first time in the Aus­tralian sides cham­pi­onship in Dar­win on May 2 to 5.

He moved north this year to be with the pow­er­ful He­lensvale club on the Gold Coast. The other two skips for the Banan­aben­ders also are in­ter­na­tion­als,

Im­por­tant is­sue

that he is sad­dened to hear that some dis­abil­ity bowlers were not be­ing treated fairly across the state.

He doesn’t give in­stances but says: “I en­cour­age all clubs to em­brace any play­ers with a dis­abil­ity so they can en­joy the game to the fullest.”

He says that at a re­cent fo­rum it was high­lighted that one in five peo­ple in Queens­land have a dis­abil­ity.

“We need to en­cour­age these peo­ple to stay ac­tive and bowls is a great way to do this,” he says

Nom­i­na­tions open

made at the AGM but it has been brought ahead “to be in place when crit­i­cal path­way events are held for player se­lec­tion”.

Applications must reach the state of­fice be­fore May 1.

Photo: DAR­REN ENG­LAND

TOP COM­PETI­TOR: Ken Han­son, of Aus­tralia, in ac­tion dur­ing the gold medal match for the men’s Para Triples B6/B7/B8 on day eight of the XXI Com­mon­wealth Games.

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