Super Selby slays defending champion
World number two Leif Selby has signaled his intentions on the second day of the XIII Asia Pacific Championships in Malaysia with two powerhouse performances.
The NSW superstar, who entered the day on top of his pool after winning his opening three matches, underlined his medal chances with back-to-back wins against two players ranked inside the world top-five.
Having fended off world number three Ratish Lal of Fiji in the morning session, Selby staged a stunning comeback against defending champion Ali Forsyth, ranked four in the world from New Zealand, as he came roaring back from 12-19 down to claim the final nine shots of the match to post a memorable win.
As a result, Selby is now assured of a quarter-final berth, with world number one Safuan Said, currently third in Section B, looming as his biggest threat to the gold medal.
According to the 37-year-old, who captured gold in the pairs and fours at the 2007 Asia Pacific Championships, self belief can play a pivotal role in victory.
“Singles is a funny game,” Selby said.
“It’s not over until you make 21 and at 12-19 down I felt I was playing well enough to win. I just had to hang in there and apply the pressure to Ali.
“When I got it to 16-19 everything just began to go my way and I was able to close out the game.”
The Australian women’s triples combination also appear to be in medal contention, with Kelsey Cottrell, Claire Duke and Julie Keegan yet to drop a match through the opening five rounds.
The World Championship silver medallists, who have not missed a beat since arriving at the Bukit Kiara Lawn Bowls Centre, reaffirmed their hot favourtism today with three crushing victories over Fiji, Brunei and Japan.
Joining them in the winners’ circle was two-time defending women’s pairs champions Lynsey Armitage and Karen Murphy, who appear to have re-found their magic after a slow start.
Having slumped to a 1-2 record through the opening three rounds, Armitage and Murphy have swept back in to medal calculations with a three game winning streak that is showing no signs of slowing down.
During this afternoon’s match against Debbie Wilford and Tweed Heads’ Carmen Anderson, who is representing Norfolk Island, the Australian duo continued their fightback with an impressive 22-9 win.
The 18-nation Asia Pacific Championships will continue at the Bukit Kiara Lawn Bowls Centre in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and will run through to August 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.
photo Getty Images