When NZs world number one Jo Edwards walks out onto Laing Green at the Burnside Bowling Club in Christchurch this morning to face Saskia Schaft from the Netherlands in a round of the world singles championships, it will be her 500th appearance in the familiar Blackjacks livery.
The 46-year-old Liverpudlian Kiwi made her international debut at the 2000 Womens World Bowls Championships in Australia at Moama, and has rarely missed a call-up for international duty since.
Over the past six or seven years the rangy sports tragic has been the worlds premier female bowler having won the singles gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the World Champion of Champions in 2012, three World Cup singles titles, and the coveted Golden Nugget Prestige Singles at Tweed Heads on Australias Gold Goast on three occasions. When the world championships were last presented in New Zealand Jo and her faithful sidekick Val Smith won the pairs gold medal.
It is no surprise that after six rounds of the championships Jo is leading her section in the singles race for gold. Ironically, in her 501st match, this afternoon Jo will face defending champion Karen Murphy from Australia, who passed the magical 500-games mark last year and is the longest serving international player in the game.
After two intense days of competition at Burnside in the most contrasting of weather conditions, only one singles player, Ainie Knight from the Philippines, remains unbeaten from her six starts; while the England trio of Rob Paxton, Jamie Walker and Andy Knapper remains unscathed after six rounds in the mens triples competition.
The England quartette in the fours competition, Jamie-Lea Winch, Becky Wigfield, Wendy King and Ellen Falkner survived a huge scare against the Fab Filipinas Hazel Jagonoy, Ronalyn Greenlees, Sonia Bruce and Rosita Bradborn to retain their unbeaten status also. At one stage the English combination trailed 3-14, but managed to bank a 16-15 score after staging a big finish.
Yesterday saw a series of apparent shock results,when the winless Hong Kong China womens four beat the undefeated Welsh team from Day 1, while Singapore snared the mens pairs points against the rampant Australians Aaron Wilson and Brett Wilkie, while Spain defeated Scotland - twice - in the womens fours and mens triples. What a day!
How the sections stand after Day 2:
Sec.1: England 15 points + 58 shots, Scotland 15 +36, Australia 13+ 30, Hong Kong China 12 +27, Canada 9 +15, South Africa 9+5, Jersey 7-1, Fiji 6-31, Singapore 3- 61, Cyprus 0- 78
Sec.2: Malaysia 15 points +61 shots, NZ 15 +52, Wales 15 +36, USA 12 +20, Ireland 9 +16, Spain 7- 25, Israel 6-39, Guernsey 4-45, Norfolk Island 3-15, India 3-61
Sec 1: NZ 15 points +42 shots, Australia 13+ 38, Ireland 12 +23, Jersey 12 +22, Wales 10+ 29, Namibia 7 +1, Malaysia 7-26, Canada 6- 27, USA 6-44, Samoa 0-58
Sec 2: England 18 points +61 shots, Scotland 12+ 25, Japan 12+11, Zimbabwe 12 sq, Spain 9+ 16, Brunei 9-5, Norfolk Island 6-10, South Africa 6-19, Fiji 6-19, Niue 0-60
Sec 1: J Edwards (NZL) 15 points+ 57 shots, K Murphy (AUS) 15+ 48 shots, K McKerihen (CAN) 15+ 32, S Schaft (NED) 12 +30, L Daniels (WAL) 9+2, K Heiser (USA) 6- 15, F Davis (CYP) 6-24, S Kariuki (KEN) 6-30, S Walker (FIJ) 6-33, J Nicolle (GUE) 0-67
Sec 2: A Knight (PHI) 18 points + 34 shots, L Doig (SCO) 15+32, C Beattie (IRE) 12+21, C Anderson (NFI) 12+ 16, SZ Admad (MAS) 9 +9, C Piketh (RSA) 9+ 1, B Chuchu (BRU) 9 sq, S Tolchard (ENG) 3-4, D Robertson (ZIM) 3- 62, T Jim (CKI) 0-47
Sec 1: NZ 15 points +40 shots, Wales 12+ 8, South Africa 12 +5, Australia 9+ 30, Singapore 9+ 14, Namibia 9-21, Ireland 9- 21, Hong Kong China 6-9, Fiji 6- 13, Canada 3- 5.
Sec 2: England 18 points +82 shots, Scotland 12 +34, Philippines 12 +33, Spain 12 +19, USA 12 sq, Japan 10 +4, Malaysia 7+ 16, Israel 4-32, Norfolk Island 1-53, Turkey 0-103
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Bowls New Zealand