Bowls: Australia dominant at world event

Val Smith
Val Smith
The Black Jacks were stumped by the Australians at World Bowls in Adelaide.

Australia dominated the championships and won five gold medals. It pushed New Zealand back into the silver medals in three of the four women's finals. It was also the Australian men who put paid to New Zealand's gold medal chances when they beat them in the semifinals of the singles and triples.

New Zealand won four gold medals in Christchurch four years ago, but Australia made the most of home advantage this time.

It was still a creditable performance by the New Zealand team to win five medals - three silver and two bronze - from the eight disciplines.

It will have pleased High Performance Sport New Zealand and made certain bowls retains its high performance funding for the next four years.

World Bowls used to be dominated by England, Scotland and Ireland when the event was first held in 1966 (men) and 1969 (women).

But the pendulum has swung and the strength of bowls is now in the southern hemisphere. New Zealand dominated in 2008 and Australia this year.

The star of the New Zealand team was Nelson bowler Val Smith, who again displayed the temperament for the big time.

She was the only New Zealand bowler to get a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 when she won the silver medal in the singles.

Smith won two gold medals in the singles and pairs in Christchurch in 2008 and came home with two silver medals this time. She lost her singles title to Australian Karen Murphy in a close final.

Defending champions Smith and Jo Edwards were beaten 16-12 in the pairs final by Australians Rebecca Quail and Kelsey Cottrell.

Edwards won the pairs in 2004 with Sharon Sims, and with Smith in 2008.

The women's triples team of rookies Mandy Boyd and Lisa White and the experienced Jan Khan lost the final to Australia's Karen Murphy, Lynsey Armitage and Natasha van Eldik.

Australia heads the count after 12 World Bowls with 18 gold medals and is followed by New Zealand 16, Scotland 13, England and Ireland 12 and South Africa 10.

Peter Belliss has been the most successful New Zealand bowler at World Bowls with gold medals in the singles (1984), pairs (1988) and triples (2000).

Six bowlers have won two gold medals: Gary Lawson and Russell Meyer (pairs and fours 2008), Rowan Brassey ( pairs 1988 and fours 2000), Elsie Wilkie (singles 1973 and 1977), Jo Edwards (pairs 2004, 2008), Val Smith (singles and pairs 2008).

 


World Bowls
NZ medallists

Silver:

• Val Smith (women's singles)
• Smith, Jo Edwards (women's pairs)
• Mandy Boyd, Lisa White, Jan Khan (women's triples)

Bronze
• Shannon McIlroy (men's singles)
• Ali Forsyth, Matt Gallop, Tony Grantham (men's triples)