The Australian Jackaroos have claimed their second world title from the 2016 World Bowls Championships in Christchurch this morning.
The Jackaroos added another coveted gold medal to their stockpile, after sharing the honours with England in yesterday’s contests, which saw each awarded one gold and one silver, and are now the outright leaders in both gender’s events.
Experienced veteran Brett Wilkie, 42, and international debutant Aaron Wilson, 25, proved to be a formidable partnership at the 34-nation quadrennial tournament, securing the men’s pairs world title in a clinical display against Ireland’s Gary Kelly and Ian McClure.
The pair looked destined to prevail from the very first end of the ultimate decider, leading from go-to-woe, with Wilkie demonstrating deft touch up front, in a format that relies heavily on the lead, while Wilson showed resolve and poise far behind his tender years.
Ireland conceded on the penultimate end, with a final score of 18-7.
It was a fitting outcome for the pair, who toppled Scotland’s defending champions Paul Foster and Alex Marshall twice throughout the tournament, in sectional rounds and the semi-final battle.
The result was the nation’s first men’s pairs title victory in 36 years, having last claimed the honours in Melbourne in 1980.
The green and gold contingent came close four years, were Leif Selby and Aron Sherriff took home silver during a record-breaking campaign.
Australia won an unprecedented five gold and two silver medals from the eight disciplines on that occasion in Adelaide, but stunningly, the team is still well placed to equal or better that result this year.
The Jackaroos have now claimed gold in the women’s fours and men’s pairs, and silver in the men’s triples, and will contest one more gold/silver decider today, when Karen Murphy attempts to secure back-to-back women’s singles crowns.
Murphy will face Scotland’s Lesley Doig from 11.00am AEDT, broadcast live on Fox Sports.
All nations will enjoy a day of respite tomorrow, before the alternate disciplines – the men’s singles and fours and the women’s pairs and triples – commence sectional rounds on Tuesday.
Bowls Australia congratulate Brett Wilkie and Aaron Wilson on their world title win.
Men’s pairs final: Australia (Brett Wilkie, Aaron Wilson) def Ireland (Gary Kelly, Ian McClure) 18-7
Upcoming final schedule:
11.00am – 2.00pm AEDT: Women’s singles final – Live on Fox Sports 4 – Australia (K. Murphy) v Scotland (Lesley Doig)