Thank goodness the Gold Coast is known for its sunshine, Billy Freeman reports for the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
That’s the sentiment from Australian lawn bowls veteran Karen Murphy, who is hoping for fine weather at the Commonwealth Games to allow the Australian team to capitalise on its home advantage.
The Australian team have been undertaking regular training camps at Broadbeach Bowls Club, the Games venue, and Murphy says she’s hoping for a fast, dry track like they have trained on.
“It can be tricky up there … the wind makes it tricky, it’s right on the beach so there’s a big nor-easter blowing over the club there,” Murphy told AAP.
“If it rains, that will slow them down. Wind and rain (could) really affect the pace of the greens and the conditions.”
Murphy will break a record on the Gold Coast, becoming the first Australian bowler of either gender to compete in five Commonwealth Games.
She will also be pulling double duty, representing Australia in the singles as well as competing in the pairs with Kelsey Cottrell.
“Playing singles for your home country, in your home country, is a bit of pressure but I guess if I am well prepared and take some confidence into that … you can use your experience and knowledge to get you home,” she said.
On the men’s side, Games debutant Aaron Wilson will be Australia’s singles representative, and he’ll also play the pairs with Brett Wilkie, as they attempt to replicate the world pairs title they won in 2016.
Barrie Lester has been named lead in both the men’s triples and fours, and he says there are a lot of contenders.
“I think New Zealand just because they are so close to home,” Lester said.
“And then your real powerhouse nations in South Africa, Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.
“Some of the Asian countries now like Thailand and Philippines are coming on pretty strong.”
Australian Associated Press