Written by Gert de Jager
The Protea women’s bowling team will face the Aussies, the favorite for the gold medal, in the women’s triathlon tomorrow. It is one of the four quarter-final matches of the World Bowls Championship taking place in Australia.
Anneke Snyman, Esme Kruger and Thabelo Muvhango finished second after England in their division. The Aussies were undefeated in their division, and Kelsey Cottrell, Lindsay Clark and Denise Hayman are an experienced and formidable trio, but nothing is impossible in bowling or “chess on grass”. The 33-year-old Cottrell has represented her country more than 500 times on the bowling court – the first time as a 16-year-old.
In the other three matches in the quarter-finals, England play Ireland, New Zealand play Malaysia and India play Canada.
In the other three disciplines in which the Proteas competed this week, Wayne Rittmuller performed best in the men’s singles. He is currently in third place in his division where Sam Tolchardt from England is still undefeated. The two will play in their last match in the division tomorrow and Rittmuller still has a small outside chance of making it to the quarter-finals if he could beat Tolchardt. Ryan Bester from Canada is currently second here and he has an easier match waiting for him tomorrow. Rittmuller lost 17 – 21 to Bester earlier in the week and Bester also lost 17 – 21 to Tolchardt.
In the men’s fours, the Proteas finished third in their division. They lost 12-13 against New Zealand, drew 11-11 against India and lost 10-13 against the Cook Islands. Jason Evans, Niksa Benguric and Matthews Phiri will therefore attend proceedings tomorrow as spectators.
In the men’s fours quarter-finals, Alex Marshall’s Scottish team plays against the Cook Islands, Australia against America, Ireland against Wales and New Zealand against Hong Kong. Here it can be expected that the Scots and the Aussies will face each other in the final.
Colleen Piketh and Franceska Baleri were also third in their division of the women’s pairs. They lost 13-17 against the Norfolk Islands, drew 20-20 against Wales and lost 9-16 against Thailand.
England’s women are the favorites to win the gold medal in the women’s pairs. The day before yesterday they beat the Aussies of Ryan and Krstic with 17 – 12. It was the very Aussie team that deprived Tolchardt of a gold medal in 2022 during the Commonwealth Games with the very last delivery from Ryan.
Wales are England’s opponents in the one women’s pairs quarter-final, while New Zealand play Scotland, Malaysia play India and Norfolk play Malta.
Malta overcame the Aussies 19-10 earlier in the week and it will not be surprising if they and England face each other in the final this weekend. England had to work hard to beat Malta 17 – 13 in their match in their division of the competition.