Bowls may just be the hottest ticket in Glasgow
Move over Usain Bolt, Sally Pearson and James Magnussen. In Glasgow, lawn bowls might just be the hottest ticket in town, Nathan Paull reports for the Sydney Morning Herald and AAP. The sport, often associated with pensioners and barefoot social gatherings, is so popular in Scotland that Commonwealth Games tickets have all but sold out. With a raucous home crowd behind them, Australian captain Lynsey Clarke says she expects Scotland to be her team’s biggest threat. “The grandstands are really big and it will probably be the biggest crowd we’ll ever play in front of,” the 30-year-old Gold Coast resident said. “Scottish supporters are very vocal, they’re very loud and they’re very patriotic. So I’m sure they’ll be sledging us a bit, but that’s OK. We’ll be prepared for it and hopefully we’ll keep them quiet.” At the 2012 World Bowls Championships in Adelaide, Australia took out five of the eight titles on offer, while Scotland claimed the final three. But it’s not only the home advantage that has Scotland tipped to topple the world No.1-ranked Aussies this time around. Clarke says the team have been training daily to get used to the more aggressive style they need to succeed on Scotland’s slow and heavy greens. The team even need a different set of bowls, which are wider than the ones they use to produce the finesse that quick Australian greens are renowned for. “We’ve pretty much changed the whole way we play,” Clarke laughed. But given the team had been training on specially-made slower greens in Melbourne before leaving for Glasgow, Clarke said the transition had been smooth. The team were also mentally prepared to endure the Games’ tough 10-day schedule, she said. They’ve spent the lead-up to the competition training in the Scottish coastal town of Ayr and taking on local teams. The competition kicks off at the picturesque Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre on July 24.