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Bowls - 16. September 2011.

Australian Bowls-Keegan earns Aussie recall

World Championship gold medallist Julie Keegan has been recalled to national duties following Kelli Wray's decision to step down from the Australia A squad effective immediately.

Having captured gold in the mixed triples at the 2009 Asia Pacific Merdeka Indoor Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Wray has been unable to force her way back into the Australian line-up and recently informed national coach Steve Glasson of her desire to take a break from the top of the sport.

In a short statement, the 23-year-old seemed at ease with her decision.

"I need some time re-evaluate a number of things and believe by taking a break I will be able to re-focus on this," Wray said.

"I wish (my teammates) all the best with the coming selections and championships that lie ahead."

Having played the last of her 121 games for Australia against New Zealand in March, Keegan was a surprise omission from the national squad that was announced in April, but has barely put a foot wrong since that time.

During last month's Queensland Open, the 47-year-old captured both the pairs and triples titles to take her grand prix tally to seven during a dominate display at Ipswich.

In the international arena, Keegan captured gold and silver in the fours and triples at the 2008 World Championships, while also guiding Australia to silver at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in the triples.

"While Julie was an unlucky omission from the Australian squad earlier in the year, her fantastic results and form at the recent Queensland Open justifies her re-emergence into the program," Glasson said.

"In the wake of Kelli standing down, the door has opened for somebody else and with the crucial Australian squad camp looming in the lead up to the Asia Pacific Championships, the Australian selectors have named Keegan as the replacement."

With the Asia Pacific Championships poised to erupt in South Australia in November, a selection camp will be held in Adelaide later this month for the 10-strong team.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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