Sunderland’s Bolt wins bronze in Cyprus

David Bolt with his bronze medal
David Bolt with his bronze medal
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DAVID Bolt beat eventual world champion Hizlee Abd Rais in the bowls Champion of Champions qualifying rounds but just could not get the better of the Malaysian in the sudden death knock-out stage.

The Silksworth bowler, representing England, produced the form of the tournament in the qualifying rounds winning 11 out of 12 contests – which included a victory over Rais.

But at the semi-final stage when the two met the Malaysian edged out the man from Sunderland before going on to win the tournament.

For Bolt though there was still the immense satisfaction of finishing among the medallists in a competition which featured bowlers from as far apart as Namibia and the Netherlands; from Israel to Australia.

In total, 26 national champions converged on the Constantinou Bros Athena Beach Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus to take part in the prestigious tournament.

And 33-year-old David said to feature among the winners was one of the proudest moments of his career.

“It was a fantastic experience but it wasn’t easy,” he told the Echo.

“The standard of competition was obviously a bit special but it’s also very tricky bowling in rinks in 30 degree sunshine – not a challenge you’re usually faced with in Silksworth too often!”

David topped his group with that 11 wins out of 12 and was recognised as the man to beat in the closing stages.

But he could not overcome the challenges he faced in the semi-final against his Asian rival.

“Unfortunately my bowls did not suit the rink and I struggled to contain his narrow bias bowls,” explained David.

But that detract from a great trip for David and his wife Lianne who travelled with him to cheer him on.

He said: “It was an amazing experience where I gained a lot of new friends and generated a great deal of support from people I had never met before.

“Just taking part is an honour, being among the company of champions and testing yourself out against them.

“But to get among the medals was great because it would have been easy to go out in the qualifying rounds.

“I love taking part in big events like this and the nationals and I’m hoping that the bronze medal will give me an outside chance of 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“One of my goals is to compete in the Games and the more I can do well in competitions like the worlds, the better the chance of being involved.”