2019 World Singles Champion of Champions: Aussie duo excited to perform on home stage

by Lachlan Williams

An array of the world’s best singles bowlers will gather at Adelaide in the coming weeks ahead of the 2019 World Champion of Champions event, with Australia’s two representatives looking forward to the chance to perform on the home stage.

Victoria’s Lee Schraner and Kylie Whitehead will put their best foot forward at the annual event which gets going at Adelaide Bowling Club from October 28 and runs until November 3.

Schraner returns for his second consecutive appearance at the event, having won bronze at St John’s Park in 2018. He said he will be better for the “difficult experience” of last year.

“Unfortunately I went out in a tiebreak in the semi final,” he said.

“I probably got too wrapped up in wanting to win too badly and made a couple of mistakes. It’s good to be able to have that second chance.

“It is really exciting to have the chance to pull on the green and gold again. Even though it isn’t a capped event it is still the ultimate.”

Schraner has had an interrupted preparation to the event, battling an ankle injury for the last 12 months.

He said despite his injury concerns he is confident he can compete well in Adelaide.

“Getting through 12 games in 5 days is something I can’t quite prepare for, but I’ve changed my action a little to give myself the best chance to get through the event,” he said.

“The small travel distance to Adelaide is a real bonus in that regard.”

While Schraner goes in with the 2018 experience under his belt, it will be Whitehead’s first time in the green and gold.

“I could not be more excited,” she said.

“I got my uniform a while ago. It has just been sitting there as the months have ticked along- I was always looking at it and I just wanted to wear it, now the time is here.”

It has been more than a year since the Australian duo qualified for the international event. Whitehead said she is as well prepared as she could be for the event.

“Recently I’ve been trying to get out on the green as much as possible, pennant has started as well which has been good,” she said.

“Since qualifying I’ve had a focus on doing the right things, working on my fitness too.

“It is a long competition that will test not only physical but mental endurance, so I have done my best to be prepared for that. Playing against the best in the world, I will need to bring my A game.”

Neither of the Australian duo have played at Adelaide Bowling Club before, but expect to be able to adjust to the greens quickly.

The event will feature 50 international players competing for two world singles titles (male and female).

Bowls Australia (BA) will be live-streaming finals action from the 2019 World Singles Championships, from Saturday, November 2 to Sunday, November 3.