Blackjacks chase gold at the World Bowls Championship
An exciting day of lawn bowls has unfolded on the Gold Coast, as the New Zealand Blackjacks have battled their way into medal contention at the largest World Championships ever held.
The table topping Women’s Para pairs team of Teri Blackbourn and Julie O’Connell played strongly to beat Thailand in their hard-fought semifinal 15 – 12, and they now battle for gold against Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Scotland.
This is the first time that there has been a para component to the World Championships, so Blackbourn and O’Connell have written themselves into the history books.
Star women’s singles player, Tayla Bruce won her quarterfinal against Sri Lanka this afternoon to guarantee another medal for the New Zealand team. She has progressed to the semifinals tomorrow where she takes on Australia’s Ellen Ryan for a spot in the final on Sunday.
The Christchurch bowler has been in electric form at this World Championships, having not yet dropped a game.
“The key today was patience. I have been working hard on having patience and grinding down the games, expecting and accepting that there is going to be challenges and great competition that I am coming up against,” said Bruce.
“I was happy with my shot selection and how I executed my shots, especially after waiting around until 3.15pm to get started. It’s a long day and you are a bit out of routine. I was proud how I adapted to the conditions and gave it my best.”
The women’s fours team of Katelyn Inch, Val Smith, Selina Goddard and Leeane Poulson, unbeaten in section play, defeated South Africa 15-12 in a climatic quarterfinal. However the campaign came to an end when they were beaten by England in the semifinal 10-20.
While the kiwi four had their eyes set on a different medal colour, their bronze marks the first world championship medal for Goddard and Poulson. It was an impressive achievement for the Kiwi quartet and bodes well for next week’s competition when the team members are part of the New Zealand pairs and triples.
The men’s pair of Andrew Kelly and Tony Grantham, who fought their way through to the knockout rounds in dramatic fashion, were unable to progress past Ireland’s pairing of Gary Kelly and Adam McKeown. They lost their quarterfinal in dramatic fashion 13 – 16 to end their campaign in the pairs, but both will take confidence into their involvement in singles and fours next week.
Results at a glance
Para Women’s Pairs- Teri Blackbourn (s), Julie O’Connell
Semifinal - Won 15 - 12 Vs Thailand
Women’s Fours-Katelyn Inch, Val Smith, Selina Goddard, Leeane Poulson
Quarterfinal - Won 15 -12 Vs South Africa
Semifinal – Loss 10 – 20 Vs England
Women’s Singles-Tayla Bruce
Quarterfinal - Won 21-11 Vs Sri Lanka
Men’s Pairs - Andrew Kelly, Tony Grantham
Quarterfinal - Loss 13 - 16 Vs Ireland