Gold for Hong Kong Lawn Bowlers

Lawn Bowls—2014 National Bocce Elite Championships
By Mike Worth
Mike Worth
Mike Worth
September 17, 2014 Updated: September 17, 2014

HONG KONG—With a change of players and venue, the Hong Kong Team won the 2014 National Bocce Elite Championships in Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province, China last weekend Sept 13 and 14) and returned with the gold medals.

Coach, Danny Ho, who also coached the Hong Kong Team in Guangzhou in the National Championships in early August, when they lost to Guangzhou in the semi final, commented: “With the new team, including 3 young bowlers from the Under 25 Squad and a very tricky indoor carpet, my first objective was to make use of the whole practice day to read and record the runs in each rink and to decide which sides of the rinks were more consistent. This paid off, as the team remembered my instructions and kept to my plan of only drawing on the ‘good side’. I also delayed selecting the line up until I could see their individual performances during the practice day. Having Manager Walter Kwok, also helped as I was able to concentrate on the players and the rinks.”

Youngsters Vivian Yip and Christina Yeung remarked, when asked how they had won gold: “We remembered where the runs were in each rink and used these to our advantage.” Ho added: “Jason Choi’s drawing ability at skip was outstanding and he saved a few critical ends together with C.T. Wong’s very consistent play, as number two in the team, throughout all the games.”

The event, held in the sports complex of a large secondary school, was organised by the Chinese Multi–Bowls Association and included the annual championships of five main small ball sports. The teams included Zhejiang Quzhou, Zhejiang Industry & Trade Vocational College, Jiangxi Wuyuan and Shandong Yan Gu. Many of their bowlers also played in one or two of the other sports including heavy metal and plastic boulle (petanque). This gave an advantage to the bowling teams from Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau and Shenzhen as their opponents were tired when arriving from the other games.

Many fixtures had to be rearranged to accommodate all five sports. Cyril Leung, International Technical Officer of HKLBA, was charged with controlling the lawn bowls games, the many changes to the fixtures and also the setting up of the green which consisted of carpet laid directly onto the concrete floor of the covered school sports hall without any end ditches. Cyril commented: “No problem, we adopted the ‘short mat’ rules and international bowlers have to expect difficult greens. Hong Kong adapted well to the carpet and deserved to win.”

In the semi final, Hong Kong narrowly beat Guangzhou, who had not been able to adapt so well from their home grass green to the difficult carpet and their normal skip, Ye Sui Ying, moved to play No.3 as he suffered from a 20km (12.4 miles) hike in the Yellow Mountains on the days before the event. Hong Kong then played Macau in the final to win and take the gold.

Yet another successful stage in the development of bowls in China had been completed and we now look forward to the 10th Asian Lawn Bowls Championships 2014, which will be held in Shenzhen in early December, also organised by the CMBA.

Mike Worth is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.

Mike Worth