Lawn bowler Jo Edwards staged a memorable fightback to win the women’s singles today and retain the Commonwealth Games crown she won at Glasgow four years ago.
Edwards beat Welshwoman Laura Daniels 21-17 in the final.
But it was anything but plain sailing for the 48-year-old New Zealander.
Daniels, who won the pairs title at the world championships in Christchurch in 2016, was in beautiful touch and led 12-7 and 17-13. At that point it looked all over for Edwards, but she is a cool customer, as she showed throughout the tournament.
She strung together four good ends, winning 3, 1, 3, 1 to sweep to victory.
“It was a bit crazy out there. Laura was playing really, really well. She was playing absolutely perfect weight. At that stage, I was thinking that maybe silver wouldn’t be too bad a colour!”
Then Edwards regrouped.
“I just tried to hang in there and see where it took me. It was frustrating though – every time I’d get close to her I’d drop a 3 and let her get away again.
“I suppose overall I was proud of my stubbornness and patience.”
Edwards had to fight doggedly even to get to the final. After two emphatic victories yesterday, she seemed set in her semi-final against South African Colleen Piketh.
The New Zealander stormed ahead 8-3 and looked good at 14-10, but the South African battled back so well that she took the lead 17-15, with three ends to play. Then Edwards’ champion qualities shone through and she took 3, 3 and 2 on the last three ends to seal her 21-17 victory and place in the final.
Edwards, 48, is now a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and twice a world champion.
New Zealand’s mixed B2/B3 pair of David Stallard, Peter Blick, Sue Curran and Ann Muir made their job of qualifying far harder when they failed to fire against Scotland and were beaten 23-5.
The Open para B7/B7/B8 triple of Bruce Wakefield, Barry Wynks and Mark Noble met South Africa late in the needed one more good result to confirm a top two position in their section and achieved their goal with a 19-11 win.
Gold Coast 2018 Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games David Stallard Peter Blick Jo Edwards Barry Wynks Sue Curran Ann Muir Bruce Wakefield Mark Noble Lawn Bowls