Posted by: Scanstrut | December 19, 2012

Resident Gold Medallist Heads Down Under

Natalie, our latest addition to the Scanstrut Sales & Marketing team, has just returned from a very successful trip to Australia where she competed in the 2012 World Bowls Championships.

After winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, there were high hopes for another podium finish.  Read on to see how she fared…

“When you think of lawn bowls, there are rarely moments that come to mind that involve anyone under the age of 65. However, at 23, I am somewhat different to the stereotypical bowler and thoroughly enjoy breaking the mould!

The World Championships are the most gruelling of all International events due to the tight schedule and amount of group games that have to be played in order to qualify. We arrived with five full days of practice ahead of us, which initially seemed far too much, but come the end, none of us felt fully prepared for what was to come.

A practice triples match against China

A practice triples match against China

The Worlds are different to other events, in that you are able to play in two disciplines – so actually get two ‘cracks’ at getting a medal – which kicked off with the triples.  We had a really tough group which included Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, who are three Countries that are paid professionally to play bowls full-time so it was always going to be difficult to qualify.

After beating Australia in a really tight game we were in good spirits, but unfortunately on the second to last day we fell short of beating NZ and Malaysia and failed to qualify. It is fair to say that we were absolutely devastated, but we had no time to sulk as the very next day we were onto the next discipline, which for me was the singles.

The view from our apartment balcony

The view from our apartment balcony

Singles is probably my most comfortable discipline. Being completely on your own leaves no room for error or poor performance and there is no one else to blame if something goes wrong! I had a great run of seven wins in a row, but then – the wheels fell off the wagon in a big way. I lost three games in a row and had to win my last game against South Africa to top the group and progress straight through to the semi-final which guaranteed a bronze medal.

The pressure was on, but I remained cool and managed a win, which was quite a relief! However, bypassing the quarter finals meant that I had three days without any competitive games – whereas my opponent, Karen Murphy from Australia, had two. This made a big difference when it came to our game as she was ‘match ready’, whereas I had not played on the greens and was not confident on the pace.

Our match was played on the TV rink which meant that we were both wired up with microphones (we had to remember to switch off for toilet breaks!), had cameras in our faces and were playing to a big crowd.  All of this meant for an interesting experience, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Unfortunately I lost 21-15 but was pleased with my performance and genuinely enjoyed the game. Karen is a legend in the sport and is one of the most successful female bowlers of all time, so it wasn’t a complete failure that I lost. I believe all the filmed matches will be on Sky Sports early next year. Enjoy!”

The four ladies singles medallists - all under 40!

The four ladies singles medallists – all under 40!

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Responses

  1. Nice work Natalie!


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