After narrowly missing out on five disciplines at the Asia Pacific Championship, the Hong Kong lawn bowls team finally set their footprint on the medal table, winning a bronze medal at the men’s Fours.
After losing two play-offs in the first week of the competition, which was staged at Burnside Bowls and Papanui Bowls clubs in Christchurch, New Zealand, from November 24 to December 6, the Hong Kong team continued their journey in the last four disciplines.
“The players learnt a lot from the games in the first week and their performance was much better in the latter part of the competition,” according to Heron Lau, Vice President in charge of the national team at the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association. Most of the Hong Kong squad has never played on the fast greens in New Zealand before.
And the improvement was confirmed by their qualifications for all play-offs in the second week. Too bad that two of them, the women’s pairs and triples, ended in tears as both games were lost by a single shot.
While Ken Chan lost his singles play-off 21:9 against Malaysian Hizlee Rais, the Fours team maintained their momentum to defeat Norfolk Islands in the play-off to guarantee a medal for Hong Kong.
It was a tight game in the semi-final against a strong Australian team. The two teams were tied at the sixth and twelfth ends, then Hong Kong lost its consistency over the next three ends and conceded six shots. They pulled two shots back but it was a bit too late and had to settle with a bronze medal.
Lau was satisfied with the results as a whole, “I think the team officials have done a great job to motivate the players after a dissatisfactory first week. They bounced back with high morale, confidence and strong fighting spirit to achieve some results in the second week.
“Now we have qualified for six disciplines in the forthcoming World Bowls Championship in 2016, our preparation should begin as soon as possible to ensure that we are ready to searching for our first medal since 1988,” said a confident Lau.
Held every four years, the 2015 Asia Pacific Championships attracted 165 players from 18 countries or regions
Hong Kong team’s performance is much improved from the last time in Adelaide, Australia, when the team only entered the play-off for men’s singles, pairs and triples as well as the women’s pairs.
Elite bowlers hunt for glory at Finals Day
A number of elite bowlers in Hong Kong are getting ready for the first Finals Day this Sunday, December 7, at the Kowloon Bowling Green Club.
The morning session starts at 10:00 am when the semi-finals of men and women’s singles, and the Novice Pairs for both men and women will be played.
The 1:30 afternoon matches include the final of the men and women national singles, as well as the women’s 2-4-2 Pairs and the Mixed Triples.
This is the first of the two Finals Days organised by the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association this year, which group together the finals of all major lawn bowls competitions in one venue to attract more spectators.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association