Kiwis champs strike gold at St Johns Park

It was an All-Black show at St Johns Park in Sydney when New Zealand superstars Jo Edwards and Shannon McIlroy were World Singles Champion of Champions.

Edwards, the reigning Commonwealth Games singles gold medalist became the most-successful competitor in bowls history when she claimed the women’s title.

She became the first dual winner of this event, having won the 2011 crown in Hong Kong, but in the process won her twelfth ‘major’, surpassing Northern Ireland’s legendary Margaret Johnston’s eleven.

Edwards defeated pocket-sized Malaysian Alyani Jamil 10-7 10-3 in the main event. A 24-year-old university student, who recently won the Asian under-25 singles championship in China, Jamil raced out of the blocks to lead Edwards 6-2 after five ends of the first set. However, a timely four on the next saw Edwards move up a cog and eventually power to victory.

Shannon McIlroy, the reigning World Bowls singles champion, fulfilled many expert prophecies when he outgunned Hong Kong’s top man Tony Cheung 8-3 9-2 to complete the Blackjacks double.

At the recent Asian Championships in China, Cheung was silver medalist in the singles, but joined forces with Imen Tang to clinch the pairs gold medal at Xinxiang.

Photo: Newly-crowned world singles champion of champions Jo Edwards and Shannon McIlroy.