Published Monday 28 July 2014

Jo Edwards added to her already bursting list of bowls credits when she won the Commonwealth Games singles gold medal today.

Edwards, 44, beat defending champion Natalie Melmore of England 21-15 in the final, having earlier brushed aside Catherine McMillen of Northern Ireland 21-8 in the semi-finals.

Against Melmore, Edwards began in sizzling fashion. She led 7-0 in no time and soon it was 14-2. The gold seemed Edwards’ for sure when it was 18-6 and though the Englishwoman fought back, Edwards was always in charge, eventually winning 21-15 after 24 ends.

Edwards, from Nelson, has a fantastic bowls CV that includes a Commonwealth Games pairs gold medal and an astonishing seven world titles. She is one of the all-time greats of New Zealand bowls.

Her victory was a happy family occasion – the New Zealand bowls team is being coached by her husband, Dave.

Edwards’ gold medal came only hours after the New Zealand women’s four of Selina Goddard, Amy McIlroy, Val Smith and Mandy Boyd beat Scotland 21-15 to earn a bronze medal.

Dave Edwards said that as a coach he was over the moon after the result, and as a husband he was proud and emotional.

“To replace Val [Smith, a former world champion] in the singles was a big decision, but the selectors got it right.

“I know Jo felt the pressure, but she is a great player. She has a tremendous temperament and one of her big attributes is patience. She needed it in the final. We knew Natalie would come back, but Jo was patient and got there in the end.”