Australian bowlers out to end gold drought
It’s been 12 long years since the Australian lawn bowls team tasted gold at the Commonwealth Games.
While the greens haven’t been kind to the Australians in their last two campaigns, veteran Karen Murphy – who is heading into her fifth Commonwealth Games campaign – believes the Broadbeach Bowls Club will give her team an edge.
“The Jackaroos have been in camp at Broadbeach for many weeks over the last six or eight months,” she said.
This whole campaign’s been a couple of years in the making, so we feel really prepared.”
Australian coach and 2006 Gold medalist Kelvin Kerkow agreed that the team is fully prepared to take home gold this year.
”Broadbeach [is] where the players have been participating, practicing and trialing in all conditions,” he said.
“2006 was big, it was a great team… I think this team is equal to that, if not better.
“We’ve still got Barrie Lester, Nathan Rice, Karen Murphy – they were part of that team, so looking 12 years later with all the experience we’ve got now, in our own country with better greens, we’re in a good position.
“Really, everything is there to win medals, and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t do well.”
Barrie Lester may be a star in his own right, but he has nothing but admiration for teammate Karen Murphy.
“The fact that Karen is playing in her fifth games is an amazing achievement,” Lester said.
“Growing up I watched bowls on TV and Karen was like an idol of mine.”
Lester’s 20-year career as seen him represent Australia over 100 times, take home bronze in Melbourne, and be named Male Bowler of the Year for 2016/17. But he’s encouraging people to get out and support his teammate in her campaign.
“If you want to see one of the best players of all time play the game and be really respectful of what she’s achieved, Karen playing in her fifth games is amazing,” Lester said.
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