Australia’s lawn bowls roster set for 2010 Commonwealth Games

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After a long period of suspense for Australian lawn bowls fan, national team coach Rex Johnston has finally set his roster for the 2010 Commonwealth Games set to take place this October in Delhi. His decisions bring few surprises, but having the players set means fans can finally start getting excited for this year’s games.

The roster includes Lynsey Armitage, Wayne Turley, and Mark Casey, all of whom will get the chance to defend their gold-medal performances at the 2006 games in Melbourne. There’s also the much-hyped Natasha Van Eldik, who, at 19, will be the youngest lawn bowler ever to represent Australia during the Commonwealth Games. She will compete in the women’s pairs alongside Armitage, which gives her a good chance of also becoming one of the youngest Australian athletes to win gold in the Games.

The women’s squad will be rounded out by Kelsey Cottrell, who will represent the team in the singles, as well as Sharyn Renshaw, Claire Duke, and Julie Keegan, who will play together in the triples.

On the men’s side, in addition to Turley and Casey we will see Leif Selby, currently ranked number two in the world, in the single’s competition. Aron Sherriff and Mark Berghofer will compete in the doubles, and Brett Wilkie will join Turley and Casey in the triples.

At the 2006 Melbourne games, Australia’s lawn bowls team was the best, earning a total of three golds, one silver, and one bronze. Replicating this performance won’t be easy as visitors in Delhi, but the talent-packed team stands a good chance. There is no weak link on this team and, as Johnston notes, it has “a strong mix of youth and experience.” In the latter category are Cottrell and Selby, who have been on the scene for several years and faced doubts as to whether they would be on the roster this year.

The Australian lawn bowl team’s stiffest competition could come from England, who own the highest number of golds in history and are tied with New Zealand for the most total lawn bowls medals. Other strong contenders include New Zealand, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Scotland, Zimbabwe, and Malaysia. The Australians should be prepared for any of these teams to step up and give them a run for their money.

In addition to lawn bowls, the games, which will kick off on October 3rd, will feature 17 other sports, plus 15 para-sports for disabled athletes.

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