Australia has enjoyed its most successful campaign abroad at a World Bowls Championships, concluding the 34-nation quadrennial event in Christchurch with four gold, two silver and one bronze medal from eight disciplines.
The Jackaroos added to their the historic haul with a gold medal in the women’s triples and silver in the men’s fours today, to finish narrowly behind the all-time record they set four years ago, which consisted of five gold and two silver.
There’s still two more finals set to be staged tomorrow to wrap up the 12-day event, but as Australia won’t play any part in those, it has finalised its standing on the medal tally, but will need to await those last results to learn the outcome of the best-performed nation awards, the Taylor and Leonard Trophies.
Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott and Rebecca Van Asch commenced the penultimate day of the event in scintillating form, earning their second world title with a 17-6 defeat of Wales.
All three players were part of the successful women’s fours contingent which claimed gold last weekend during the initial four disciplines, and as such, all return home as dual world champions.
However, it wasn’t a fairytale finish for the men’s fours, who were attempting to send Jackaroos veteran Mark Casey off to international retirement as a world champion.
Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson and Casey met their match in the New Zealand Blackjacks, who were dominant from the opening end, with the host-nation, who were skipped by Victorian-based Ali Forsyth, eventually recording a 23-4 victory to secure its first gold medal of the tournament.
Unfortunately for Lester and Casey, the result meant their second silver medal of the tournament.
Seven of the Australian Jackaroos return home as world champions, with Krizanic, Scott and Van Asch dual winners in the women’s triples and women’s fours, which also featured Kelsey Cottrell, while Karen Murphy prevailed in the women’s singles, and Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson triumphed in the men’s pairs.
The contingent will watch the remaining two finals from the comfort of the grandstands, like the majority of other nations, having been unable to secure passage to the women’s pairs and men’s singles finals that will be played tomorrow.
Those two disciplines’ finals are the only two Australia won’t contest at the event, which will see them relinquish their titles to New Zealand or Wales in the pairs, and either the host-nation’s Shannon McIlroy or Canada’s Gold Coast based Ryan Bester in the blue-ribbon singles.
The Australian women are all but assured of the Taylor Trophy honours, which is awarded to the best-performed women’s nation, having won three of the four disciplines.
When they lay their hands on the silverware tomorrow afternoon, they will etch the nation’s name into the record books as the most prolific winner of the trophy, with five wins, ahead of England’s four.
The men will wait to find out whether their one gold, two silver and a bronze was enough to secure the men’s overall accolade, the Leonard Trophy.
Bowls Australia congratulates all 10 Australian Jackaroos players on their preparation and performance at the 2016 World Bowls Championships.
The Board and staff of Bowls Australia also thank Mark Casey for his service to the Australian Jackaroos during his 13-year international career.
Finally, Bowls Australia wish to thank the high-performance team of National Coach Steve Glasson, Assistant National Coach Gary Willis, High Performance Coordinator Peter Brown, Team Manager Faye Luke, Australian Selectors Beth Quinlan, Kelvin Kerkow and Dave Stockham, Psychiatrist Mark McMahon and Chief Operating Officer Tony Sherwill for their contribution to Australia’s success at the 2016 World Bowls Championships.
Today’s final results:
Women’s triples final: Australia (Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch) def Wales (Caroline Taylor, Jess Sims, Kathy Pearce) 17-6
Men’s fours final: Australia (Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson, Mark Casey) lost to New Zealand (Mike Nagy, Blake Signal, Mike Kernaghan, Ali Forsyth) 23-4
Last week’s final results:
Women’s singles final: Australia (Karen Murphy) def Scotland (Lesley Doig) 21-13
Women’s fours final: Australia (Kelsey Cottrell, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch, Natasha Scott) def England (Jamie-Lee Winch, Rebecca Wigfield, Wendy King, Ellen Faulkner) 23-8
Men’s pairs final: Australia (Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson) def Ireland (Gary Kelly, Ian McClure) 18-7
Men’s triples final: Australia (Barrie Lester, Mark Casey, Aron Sherriff) lost to England (Jamie Walker, Andy Knapper, Robert Paxton) 14-15
Tomorrow’s upcoming finals:
Sunday, December 11 (day twelve)
Women’s pairs final – 7.00am – 10.00am AEDT: New Zealand (Angela Boyd, Jo Edwards) vs Wales (Laura Daniels, Jess Sims) (Live on Fox Sports 4)
Men’s singles final – 11.00am – 2.00pm AEDT: New Zealand (Shannon McIlroy) vs Canada (Ryan Bester) (Live on Fox Sports 5)