Bowls: Lawson has taste of gold and hungry for more

Double World Bowls champion Gary Lawson ponders his next move during the North East Valley...
Double World Bowls champion Gary Lawson ponders his next move during the North East Valley Invitation singles at the weekend. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Gary Lawson still has an appetite for gold.

His two gold medals at World Bowls in Christchurch has made him keen for more.

Lawson believes he can win the pairs gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi with his old mate Russell Meyer.

He is not predicting his future after that but would like to defend his gold medals at the 2012 World Bowls at Melbourne.

"I love the game and enjoy playing," Lawson said during the North East Valley Invitation singles last weekend.

"Three or four years ago, I didn't think I was good enough. But I am playing well and am happy to keep playing."

Lawson (43) expects to have at least another 10 years at the top of international bowls.

"It's not about your age," he said.

"It's about how you're playing. Any opponent will have to play at their best to beat me.

"There are times when I think I should give up but I love the game too much."

The highlight of Lawson's 23-year bowls career was to skip the New Zealand pair and four to gold medals at at his hometown of Christchurch last January.

Before the team was announced, Lawson told selector Bruce Malcolm that if they picked Russell Meyer and Lawson in the pairs they would win the gold medal.

Malcolm put his reputation on the line by backing Lawson when some people in Bowls New Zealand did not want him in the team.

"Bruce didn't want me to let him down," Lawson said.

"I told him that if he picked me and Sticks [Russell Meyer] in the pairs that we would get him home.

"We dropped a five on the first end and still won. It was fantastic. To be world champion was the greatest moment in my bowls career."

There has been a close rapport between Lawson and Malcolm since he and Gordon Duggie beat Lawson, and his father Stan, in the final of the New Zealand championship pairs in 1990.

Stan Lawson won the singles at Dunedin in 1968.

Lawson also has a goal on the domestic scene to win 11 New Zealand championship titles and beat Nick Unkovich's record of 10 titles.

He won his ninth title in the pairs last January.

The Seepage's North East Valley Invitation singles is one major event that has always eluded him.

Lawson has been runner-up three times - 1996 to Ian Dickison, 2001 to Jim Scott and 2002 to Paul Girdler.

"Its always been a jinx for me. But I will keep coming back until I win it," Lawson said.

His wife, Judy, a jockey, had a life-threatening crash two years ago and is having a hard battle getting back to full health.

"She's only average," Lawson said.

"But she's trying hard to get better and is a wonderful inspiration to other people the way she is fighting. She's a fantastic person."


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