XIII Asia Pacific Championships: Bukit Kiara Lawn Bowls Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keegan skips triple treat
If good things come in threes, Australia appears to have hit the jackpot.
At the conclusion of the first full day at the XIII Asia Pacific Championships in Kuala Lumpur last night, Australia’s women’s triples side, experimenting with their third alternate combination in as many tournaments, swept to three crushing victories to top their pool and all but guarantee themselves of a quarter-final berth.
With Coolum Beach’s Julie Keegan at the helm, taking over skipping duties from St Johns’ Claire Duke, who is playing second, the Australians catapulted themselves within a whisker of the post-sectional rounds, with the aid of newly crowned World Champion of Champions Kelsey Cottrell.
Having destroyed Thailand and the Philippines in the opening two rounds, the Australians made it three from three when they crushed Fiji’s Elizabeth Moceiwai, Doreen O'Connor and Salanieta Valetu 28-6 to remain as the only undefeated team in their pool, with a whopping 50 shots in the black.
Singapore, which currently sits in fifth with a 1-2 record, is 55 shots adrift and must still play three of the current top four teams, including Australia in the penultimate round.
In the women’s pairs, Lynsey Armitage and Karen Murphy reignited their title defence with a shaky fourth round victory over Thailand.
Having dropped successive encounters to the Philippines and Singapore, slumping them to sixth in their pool, the two-time defending champions re-found their form against Orawam Sodok and Songsin Tsao, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
Down 2-14 midway through the must win encounter, Armitage and Murphy came to life as they claimed 20 of the final 21 shots of the match to edge their way in to fourth place in section one.
With three teams locked at 2-2, the tournament favourites are far from guaranteed a quarter-final position, but wins against Japan and Norfolk Island today will go a long way to aiding their cause.
The 18-nation Asia Pacific Championships will be staged at the Bukit Kiara Lawn Bowls Centre in Kuala Lumpur from August 8 to 16.
Competing nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Fiji, Hong Kong-China, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United States.
Asia Pacific Championships Results:
Lynsey Armitage and Karen Murphy (AUST) bt Orawam Sodok and Songsin Tsao (THAI) 22-15
Kelsey Cottrell, Claire Duke and Julie Keegan (AUST) bt Elizabeth Moceiwai, Doreen O'Connor and Salanieta Valetu (FIJ) 28-6
– but the sailors praise the new boats