2018 Australian Championships: Preview

by Aidan Davis

The best of the best players from around the country will converge on the Sapphire Coast to contest the prestigious Australian Championships from Monday at the magnificent Club Sapphire.

The coveted Australian Championships, to run for four days, were a welcomed addition to the events calendar last year after a 12-year hiatus.

Players and spectators were treated to a feast of bowls over the four days of competition and this year will not disappoint with another stellar field assembled.

To qualify for these Australian Titles players/teams have won their respective state/territory championships so when we say these competitors are the best of the best; that is certainly no exaggeration.

The triples will kick off the 2018 Championships and what a way to start with six past and present internationals and a host of state representatives among the starting line-up.

The artificial surface will play into the hands of Cabramatta’s Billy Johnson, Carl Healy and Corey Wedlock who will feel as though they have a slight home ground advantage due to having a similar surface at their home club.

Australian Open pairs champions Brooke and Gayle Edwards are joined by Shelley Allen in the triples and will face tough competition with Western Australia’s Kristina Krstic, New South Wales’ Katrina Wright and Queensland’s Chloe Stewart all skipping strong outfits.

On day two our pairs disciplines do battle; keep your eyes on the results in section one of the men’s competition. Four quality teams have been drawn in the same section, therefore if any team goes through this jammed packed section undefeated they would be considered hot favourites for the final later that night.

In the women’s pairs BCiB Australian Jackaroos Chloe Stewart (teaming up with Jessica Srisamruaybai) and Kelsey Cottrell (with partner Anne Johns) are in the same section and their State of Origin-like showdown will occur in the final sectional match.

The men’s singles will be a hotly contested affair with two of Australia’s most in-form players Ray Pearse, the current NSW State Singles and Champion of Champion Singles winner, and a back-to-back Australian Champion of Champion Singles winner and bronze medallist at the World Champion of Champions, Tasmania’s Lee Schraner.

With just six competitors in the women’s singles, it’s open for anyone to break through and win their first major national singles title.

BCiB Australian Jackaroos Carla Krizanic (VIC) and Kristina Krstic (WA) will be challenged by four strong state representative players.

Day three of the event will showcase the fours, with Natasha Scott’s team back with their eyes on gold having claimed the silver medal in last year’s event; Queensland dominated the fours in 2017 so the maroon’s title defence is in the capable hands of Australian Emerging Squad member Sean Ingham and his three mates from Club Helensvale and a composite team of Queensland Bowling Arm Representatives skipped by North Dalby’s Wendy Usher.

 

To view the Event Program, Conditions of Play and Draws for all disciplines, click here

Bowls Australia (BA) will again be delivering all the action to your screens via Rinkside Live across the four days.

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