Gold fever hits Broadbeach tomorrow

ALL eyes will be on the Broadbeach Bowls Club in on Australia’s Gold Coast tomorrow when the last four Asia Pacific Championships gold medals will be decided.

It’s the culmination of the event’s first tough week – over the past four days the championships – featuring nineteen countries from the Asia and Oceanic regions at three host clubs across the Gold Coast – Musgrave Hill, Club Helensvale and Broadbeach– has put the best-credentialled field ever on show, with medals for individual excellence and national inclusion in next year’s world championships on offer.

And following today’s set of no-nonsense knockout finals, eight teams will contest four finals tomorrow – men’s singles and fours along with women’s pairs and triples. Australia’s mighty Jackaroos will appear in three, women’s triples and pairs, along with the men’s fours – while New Zealand’s Blackjacks are in the men’s singles and fours.

At 1.00pm tomorrow in a ‘Battle of the Titans’, reigning world singles and champion of champions Shannon McIlroy will face Canada’s mighty Ryan Bester in a replay of the 2016 world championship final. Seating will be at a premium.

In the semi finals Bester outgunned Australian star Ray Pearse, while McIlroy was far too accomplished for Hong Kong China’s Tony Cheung – who he defeated in last year’s champion of champions final at St Johns Park in Sydney.

The blockbuster men’s fours final between Australia’s Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff and Blackjacks Mike Kernaghan, Jamie Hill, Gary Lawson and Ali Forsyth will start tomorrow’s proceedings at 9.00am. Both finalists enjoyed comfortable semi final wins today over Malaysia and Canada.

The other morning final will see the undefeated Australians Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott, Bec Van Asch up against the diminutive Malaysian trio of Auni Kamis, Alyani Jamil and Azalina Arshad.

Both teams had to battle hard in the semi finals to gain their berths in the main event – Aussie skipper Bec Van Asch played a ripping five-shot conversion when four in arrears to Canada with three to play, while the Malaysians had to grovel for every point against a richly talented Indian trio.

But, it is the women’s pairs final at 2.00pm that should be the day’s happy match when the Papua New Guinea combination of Piwen Karkar and Catherine Wimp take on Australian world and Commonwealth champions Lynsey Clarke and Kelsey Cottrell.

The Aussies blitzed the strong New Zealand side of Kirsten Edwards and Jo Edwards to claim their place in the main event, while the PNG duo emerged from one of the most entertaining and heart-warming semi finals ever against Malaysia’s Nor Fidrah Noh and Siti Zalina Ahmad to grab the other spot.

However, it needs to be remembered that Piwen and Catherine are the only team to beat Lynsey and Kelsey during qualifying – so the result is not a fore drawn conclusion.

2019 Asia Pacific Championships, Broadbeach, Australia

Day 9:

Men’s singles:

Elimination finals: CAN (Ryan Bester) bt THA (Koko Ontong) 21-10, HKC (Tony Cheung) bt MAS (Hizlee Rais) 21-12. Semi finals: CAN (Ryan Bester) bt AUS (Ray Pearse) 21-14, NZL (Shannon McIlroy) bt HKC (Tony Cheung) 21-11.

Men’s fours:

Elimination finals: MAS (Soufi Rusli, Izzat Dzulkeple, Ijoi Redzuan, Fairul Muin) bt JPN (Tomoyuki Tamachi, Jun Koyama, Hank Sato, Kenta Hasebe) 17-8, CAN (Rob Law, Pat Bird, Greg Wilson, Cameron Lefresne) bt HKC (Imen Tang, Adrian Yau, Lyndon Sham, James Po) 14-13. Semi finals: NZL (Mike Kernaghan, Jamie Hill, Gary Lawson, Ali Forsyth) bt CAN (Rob Law, Pat Bird, Greg Wilson, Cameron Lefresne) 17-6, AUS (Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys, Nathan Rice, Aron Sherriff) bt MAS (Soufi Rusli, Izzat Dzulkeple, Ijoi Redzuan, Fairul Muin) 18-9.

Women’s pairs:

Elimination finals: NZL (Kirsten Edwards, Jo Edwards) bt HKC (Gloria Ha, Helen Cheung) 19-14, PNG (Piwen Karkar, Catherine Wimp) bt IND (Nayanmoni Saikia, Bongita Hazarika) 17-14. Semi finals: AUS (Lynsey Clarke, Kelsey Cottrell) bt NZL (Kirsten Edwards, Jo Edwards) 22-7, PNG (Piwen Karkar, Catherine Wimp) bt.MAS (Nur Fidrah Noh, Siti Zalina Ahmad) 20-19.

Women’s triples:

Elimination finals: MAS (Auni Kamis, Alyani Jamil, Azalina Arshad) bt PHI (Hazel Jagony, Ronalyn Greenlees, Rosita Bradborn) 16-11, CAN (Jackie Foster, Jordan Kos, Leanne Chinery) bt NZL (Wendy Jensen, Katelyn Inch, Val Smith) 21-14. Semi finals: MAS (Auni Kamis, Alyani Jamil, Azalina Arshad) bt IND (Sarita Tirkey, Tania Choudhary, Rupa Rani Tirkey) 21-11, AUS (Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott, Bec Van Asch) bt CAN (Jackie Foster, Jordan Kos, Leanne Chinery) 20-15.

Photo: Malaysia’s Alyani Jamil, Azalina Arshad and Auni Kamis are their country’s only gold medal contenders tomorrow.