The Australian Jackaroos have claimed the first gold medal of the World Bowls Championships, and will go in hunt of a further three over the course of this weekend.
The women’s fours contingent of Kelsey Cottrell, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch and Natasha Scott are the nation’s newest world champions, after toppling the undefeated England 23-8 in this morning’s ultimate decider, which was broadcast live on Fox Sports.
So emphatic was their victory, the match was called off two ends early, after the Jackaroos collected 4 shots on the 16th end to reach a seemingly unassailable lead, 23-8.
The Jackaroos quartet enjoyed a stunning turnaround in the 34-nation event to secure the first of eight gold medals up for contention over the next eight days.
They were almost down-and-out after the first four rounds of sectional warfare, after suffering three defeats, but turned their fortunes around with a couple of positional changes to their line-up, which saw Cottrell handed the leading duties while Scott took the reins as skip.
The rejig proved the catalyst for the next five sectional victories, which gave them a post-sectional berth in third-place.
They continued to build momentum with an elimination-final win against Scotland 17-8, followed by a semi-final victory against host-nation New Zealand 27-9 and toppled the Old Enemy, who had an unblemished record, in comprehensive fashion in the final this morning.
Coincidentally, the women’s fours was the only discipline that Australia didn’t medal in at the most recent staging of the event, in 2012.
The Jackaroos secured five gold and two silver medals four years ago, and are now well positioned break their own World Bowls Championships medal record.
They are guaranteed of three more silver medals at a minimum from the initial four disciplines, and will commence the opposite four disciplines’ sectional rounds next Tuesday.
Cottrell and Van Asch had previously prevailed in the women’s pairs in 2012, while Scott was part of the winning triples team, and this is Krizanic’s first World Bowls Championships campaign.
Bowls Australia congratulates Kelsey Cottrell (St Johns Park, NSW), Carla Krizanic (Sunbury, VIC), Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay, TAS), Natasha Scott (Raymond Terrace, NSW) and the high performance team.
The men’s triples team of Barrie Lester, Mark Casey and Aron Sherriff will look to replicate their teammates’ heroics against England in another Ashes encounter, from 11.00am AEDT.
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
Upcoming finals schedule:
Saturday, December 3 (day five)
11.00am – 2.00pm AEDT: Men’s triples final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (Barrie Lester, Mark Casey, Aron Sherriff) v England (Jamie Walker, Andy Knapper, Robert Paxton)
Sunday, December 4 (day six)
7.00am – 10am AEDT: Men’s pairs final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson) v Ireland (Gary Kelly, Ian McClure)
11.00am – 2.00pm AEDT: Women’s singles final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (K. Murphy) v Scotland (Lesley Doig)