HONG KONG—After more than 12 months of intense preparation and lobbying, Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association (HKLBA) has successfully won its bid to host the World Championships in Hong Kong in 2024 and became the first Asian city to hold the prestigious event.
The bid was approved at a World Bowls, the worldwide governing body of lawn bowls, board meeting on Jan 21. The board also approved the application submitted by the Chinese Multi Bowls Association for the hosting of the 2023 Asia Pacific Bowls Championship in China.
According to a message from World Bowls Chief Executive Gary Smith, “We deeply appreciated the bids to host these prestigious World Bowls events. The announcement and hosting of the two events should be a major catalyst for the development of lawn bowls in Asia.”
Smith also anticipated that there would be much to discuss in relation to these events over the intervening months and years between World Bowls and the two associations.
Vincent Cheung, president of HKLBA, is delighted with World Bowls’ decision and vowed to make it a successful event, “With the support from the Home Affairs Bureau and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong China, we are sure that the World Championship 2024 will be one of the best in history.
“I will lead an organizing committee to oversee all aspects of the competition and the initial works will be on two fronts. The first one being in negotiation with World Bowls on the detailed host agreement, and the second will be the discussion with the government on the funding support.
“We will also look into our squad and development system to prepare a strong team to hunt for glory on our home soil,” concluded Cheung
According to the HKLBA bidding document, the event will be held from November 8-17, 2024, at the nine natural grass greens in private clubs on both side of the Victoria Harbour. It is expected a maximum of 20 countries will be participating in the competition.
First held in Australia in 1966, the World Championship are held every four years. A team of five players represents qualifying countries from each gender will compete in the five disciplines (singles, pairs, triples and fours).
Hong Kong has achieved good results in the World Championship in the past, winning gold medals in men’s pairs (1972 – Eric Liddell, Saco Delgado), women’s pairs (1977 – Helen Wong, Elvie Chok) and women’s triples (1981 – Lena Sadick, Rae O’Donnell, Linda King). But the last silverware came 30 years ago when Sandi Zakoske, Rae O’Donnell and Naty Rozario won the bronze in the women’s triples in 1988.
Claudius Lam is an officer of the Hong Kong Lawn Bowls Association.