Asia Pacific Championships 2019 takes place at Club Helensvale, Musgrave Hill and Broadbeach Bowls Clubs June 18-28, a familiar location for Broadbeach based Katelyn Inch who has been selected in the 10-person New Zealand squad to travel to contest the coveted title in June.
Inch has come off a stellar 18 months of competition, in form such as this it is no surprise she has been called up. Claiming the 2017 Queensland Singles Championship, 2018 World U’25 Ladies Singles Silver Medallist, 2018 Queensland Champion of Champion Singles Winner, 2018 Gold Coast District Singles Winner, 2018 Gold Coast Women’s Bowler of the Year, 2018 and was a member of the women’s winning Trans-Tasman New Zealand team.
Inch last represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast where New Zealand did not manage to make it into post-section. Nearly a year on Inch will be keen to join forces again with Val Smith and Kirsten Edwards for the women’s fours. Both Smith and Edwards (Kirsten) will be familiar to Inch as they were members of the bronze medal winning team from the World Championships held in Christchurch in 2016.
Inch joins her fellow team mates from Gold Coast 2018, Jo Edwards and Val Smith, along with recalled internationals Wendy Jensen and Kirsten Edwards to complete the women’s team.
The New Zealand men’s representatives are nothing short of experience, all members of the 2019 team having wet their toes previously. Gary Lawson leading the charge having made his first appearance 30 years ago when the championships were in Suva, Fiji 1989. Earning his first Asia Pacific medal, a bronze in the men’s triples.
Lawson would go on to claim a further seven medals over the years, Men’s Singles Silver (1993), Men’s Pairs Gold, Men’s Fours Gold (1995), Men’s Fours Silver (2003) Men’s Triples Gold (2005) Men’s Pairs Silver 2009) a total of eight Asia Pacific medals to date.
Close on the medal haul of Lawson is Ali Forsyth who has five Asia Pacific medals to his name, another familiar face in this competition.
Forsyth made his first appearance 12 years ago when he won gold in the Men’s Singles (2007) making that a back to back gold in 2009 and the addition of a Men’s Triples Silver the same year.
Jamie Hill steps out onto the Gold Coast greens 16 years after his first appearance in 2003 where he was part of the gold and silver medal winning teams of the Men’s Triples and the Men’s Fours respectively. Hill’s third Asia Pacific medal comes the way of a silver in 2009 that he shares with Lawson in the Men’s Pairs.
Mike Kernaghan and Shannon McIlroy round off the men’s side for the Blackjacks, both who have been successful across their kiwi-based summers, where recently they faced off against each other representing their Centre’s of Dunedin and Nelson respectively, in the men’s singles discipline. Kernaghan and McIlroy, season professionals that they are, will put their Intercentre rivalries behind them to join the rest of the New Zealand team in the Asia Pacific Challenge and the qualification for the World Bowls World Championships 2020.
Asia Pacific Championships
The Asia Pacific Championships 2019 will take place on the Gold Coast, Queensland from June 18 to 28 and feature teams from 18 countries. The Asia Pacific Championships is a qualifying event for the World Bowls Championships 2020 which will also be held at the same venues in May and June next year
The full Blackjacks Squad named for Asia Pacific Championships 2019
Jo Edwards (United)
Kirsten Edwards (Stoke)
Val Smith (United)
Katelyn Inch (Oxford)
Wendy Jensen (Orewa)
Shannon McIlroy (Stoke)
Gary Lawson (Elmwood)
Ali Forsyth (Nelson and Clayton)
Jamie Hill (Eastbourne)
Mike Kernaghan (North East Valley)
Singles – Jo Edwards
Pairs – Jo Edwards, Kirsten Edwards
Triples – Val Smith, Katelyn Inch, Wendy Jensen
Fours – Val Smith, Katelyn Inch, Kirsten Edwards, Wendy Jensen
Singles – Shannon McIlroy
Pairs – Gary Lawson, Shannon McIlroy
Triples – Ali Forsyth, Jamie Hill, Mike Kernaghan
Fours – Ali Forsyth, Gary Lawson, Jamie Hill, Mike Kernaghan