Fisher and Stewart secure world titles
Australia has reaffirmed its position as the powerhouse under-25 nation in the sport of bowls, claiming two gold medals at the World Junior Championships in Broadbeach this evening.
Victoria’s Dylan Fisher and Chloe Stewart both saluted on the international stage at the inaugural 13-nation event, securing the top honours in the blue-ribbon men’s and women’s singles disciplines after six days of competition on the Gold Coast.
Fisher, a member of next week’s $110,000 Australian Premier League’s Blundstone Melbourne Roys franchise, cut a swath through the nine sectional rounds, dropping just one rubber to finish on top of the standings and advance directly to yesterday’s semi-final decider.
With the green and gold nation fielding representatives in both sections of the men’s and women’s singles competitions, hopes were pinned on a gold/silver finish in both genders, until Queensland’s Sean Ingham was drawn into the Fisher’s pool for post-sectional matches after a second-placed finished in the opposite side of the draw.
Ingham’s hopes were crushed by Scotland’s Kevin Anderson in the quarter-final 21-14, but Fisher turned the table on the Scottish ace in the semis, 21-8, to book a final decider berth against Anderson’s national teammate Ryan Burnett, who overcame Malysia’s Fairus Jabal 21-4.
In an arm-wrestle encounter, Fisher was left holding the coveted silverware aloft, prevailing 21-17, and moments later was joined by a fellow Victorian at the top of the dais.
Australia’s two chances in the women’s event, Stewart and Western Australia’s Kristina Krstic enjoyed similar results on opposite sides of the draw in the women’s event, both finishing in second place before clawing their way through the play-off encounters.
Escaping being drawn into the same pool kept the nation’s hopes of a one/two finish alive, which is exactly what eventuated, after Stewart accounted for New Zealand’s Tayla Bruce 21-17 and Wales’ Jessica Sims 21-9, while Krstic also posted a 21-17 win in the quarter-final, against Scotland’s Lesley Gordon, and then ended fellow Scot Stacey Laidlaw’s run 21-13.
After a fiercely contested deicer, the world title was claimed by second Victorian junior spearhead, Bowls Australia’s reigning Under-18 Female Bowler of the Year Stewart, by a 4 shot margin in the first-to-21 format.
Bowls Australia congratulate Dylan Fisher and Chloe Stewart on their golden run at the World Junior Championships, Kistina Krstic on her runner-up finish, and Sean Ingham and Bolivia Millerick on their endeavours on the world stage.
Bowls Australia would like to acknowledge the assistance and funding provided by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to Bowls Australia for athletes in the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program.