In an effort to achieve better results at the Chinese National Lawn Bowls Championship, Hong Kong is sending a strong team to compete in the competition this weekend.
Held in the YueXiu Park, Guangzhou City, China, from August 2 to 3, the event is open to China’s municipalities, provinces, special administration region, special economic zones and state-owned enterprises. This year the organising committee has imposed strict control on the eligibility of the players to ensure that only bona fide bowlers will participate. As a result the number of teams competing has reduced from last year’s 15 to 7 this year.
Same as last year, the tournament will divide into men’s Pairs, women’s Pairs and a Mixed Fours competition.
In the last tournament Hong Kong only finished second in the overall standings behind the Guangzhou team. But they did manage a gold medal in the mixed Fours discipline and finished with bronze in both other competitions.
The results show that teams from the mainland are rapidly closing the gap with Hong Kong and this has induced the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association to review their squad system.
Hong Kong will send a relatively young squad for the tournament, including 2011 Bowler of the Year Raymond Ho and 27-years-old Desmond Hau. For the ladies, the reigning National Knock-out Singles champion Angela Chau will partner with Joanna Nam to fight for the glory.
Ho is the only player left from the last squad and is confident that Hong Kong team will perform this time: “All my team-mates are good bowlers with a good mix of playing styles. Despite the fact that we are playing together for the first time, our experience should be able to gel us within a short period of time.
“We anticipated that the biggest challenges will be from Guangzhou as they are very familiar with our playing style, and they also have the home green advantage.
“The last tournament was my first time to represent Hong Kong so I was a bit nervous and this affected my performance a bit. Now I have better knowledge of the green and our opponents so I will carry the responsibility of leading my partners to perform,” said a confident Ho.
Claudius Lam is an Officer with the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.