Top bowlers build towards Commonwealth Games | SASCOC - SASCOC

Top bowlers build towards Commonwealth Games

Crack fields, superb greens and full banks will be the order for the annual Warwick/Bowls SA Masters tournament at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg from 14-16 February as the nation’s leading bowlers look forward to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

World-class performances can be expected, according to Bowls SA president Allan Freeman. ÔÇ£Our players are highly regarded worldwide,” Freeman said.

“They’ve won a clutch of gold medals internationally and are champions of Africa. Expect the best to play their best.”

Competition is expected to be particularly tough with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, getting closer and closer.

Defending SA Masters champions Gidion Vermeulen (Port Natal) and Colleen Piketh (Johannesburg Bowling Association) will hope to retain their titles in the open division, but they will not have it all their own way.

Vermeulen, who needs to get himself back on course after a disappointing singles foray in Australia last year, and the consistent Piketh, who will represent the Proteas at the World Indoor Singles Championships at Warilla Recreational Club near Sydney in April, will be eager to show their form, but others are waiting keenly in the wings.

Last year’s runner-ups Nic Rusling (WP), who has transferred from Sables (Rustenberg area) to the Cape to be with his partner, had a stellar 2013, and Louise Roediger (WP), a laid-back accumulator of major events at all levels, will aim to regain the crown she won in 2012, in spite of her lack of affection for assessment protocols.

Meanwhile, the SA Gold Squad of 16 elite men and women will be on view, after striving to impress the national selectors for the Commonwealth Games team.

“The Commonwealth Games sides for Scotland will do well,” Freeman predicted.

Commonwealth champion Gerry Baker (JBA) seeks a record sixth title, and Bobby Donnelly (JBA), a former Games gold medallist who will also compete in the World Indoor championships, are expected to put up a strong challenge, while 25-year-old star Tracy-Lee Botha (JBA) should feature, along with debutant Tracy Meyeridricks (JBA).

Warwick Wealth chairman and CEO, Ian Kilbride, was upbeat ahead of this year’s edition of the prestigious tournament. ÔÇ£We celebrate a decade of association with this great game,” Kilbride said. “Both of us (Warwick and Bowls SA) offer and deliver excellence. It is truly a sport for all.ÔÇØ

The Senior Masters events look wide open, and the Junior Masters should again unearth potential future stars.

Open Masters:
Women Section A: C Piketh (JBA), E Steyn (JBA), L Larkin (P Natal), S Nel (Sables), P Cole-Cook (Kingfisher), A Snyman (Boland), J Hackland (P Natal), E Davis (Eden Bowls)

Section B: L Roediger (WP), N Neal (Sables), T Meyeridricks (JBA), T-L Botha (JBA), B Webber (P Natal), G Matthews (P Natal), S Steyn (Boland) E Kruger (Gauteng N)

Men:  Section G Vermeulen (P Natal),  E Ferreira  (WP),  P Breitenbach (NW), (J Evans (JBA), C Roets (SFS), SW van Vuuren (Mpumalanga), R Jacobs ( NFS), G Baker (JBA)

Section B: N Rusling (Sables), Prince Neluonde (JBA), Conrad Potgieter (Border), Wayne Perry (JBA), ┬áB Donnelly (JBA), B Makkink (P Natal), T Oelofse (E Gauteng), Francois K├Âen (Gauteng N).