The 2023 World Bowls Championships saw our Aviva England squad’s excellent efforts to bring home as many medals as they could from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. They battled the challenging conditions and achieved some memorable results in the first staging of the prestigious event since 2016.
England had a commendable performance, they secured a total of five medals including one Gold and four Bronze medals across various disciplines.
The standout moment for England came on Day 5 of the event when Sophie Tolchard, Jamie-Lea Marshall, Lorraine Kuhler and Amy Pharaoh won the Gold medal in the Women’s Fours, displaying remarkable teamwork and precision. They overcame the test of facing hosts Australia in the Final and, after a tight tussle in the early stages, our English quartet found their rhythm and surged in front of Australia as they picked up seven unanswered shots to lead 11-6 at 12 ends.
They saw out the match in style, sealing a famous 14-7 victory against Australia and a glorious Gold medal for their efforts. It was a fulfilling moment after England had to settle for Silver in the Women’s Fours at the last World Championships in 2016.
Jamie-Lea Marshall was part of the England four in 2016, alongside Rebecca Wigfield, Wendy King & Ellen Falkner. She was “so happy” to seal the Gold this time round.
Talking to Bowls Australia after the Final, she said, “It feels amazing to go that one better than last time. To come away with a Gold medal is just incredible.”
The Women’s Fours triumph helped England finish second in the Overall Women’s Team Trophy Standings. All Team standings from the 2023 World Bowls Championships can be found here.
Bronzes were claimed by Louis Ridout, Nick Brett and Jamie Walker in the Men’s Triples, Katherine Rednall in the Women’s Singles, Alison Yearling and Stephen Hartley with Directors Jane Herbert and Isaac Shieh in the Para Mixed Pairs and Sophie Tolchard and Amy Pharaoh in the Women’s Pairs, after all reached the Semi-Finals.
England showcased excellent team dynamics, with players supporting each other both on and off the green. The support was endless from our Performance Team in Mo Monkton, Kirk Smith, Sandy Hazell and Helen Lewis-Wall.
Performance Director Mo Monkton stated, “I am delighted with the squad and Management Team who all worked hard to make this such a successful Championships. A Gold Medal and four Bronze Medals on Southern Hemisphere greens is brilliant.
“We won the majority of matches and those lost were by small margins. Our players gave their all and proved we are up there with the best in the World, as the final rankings proved.
“Out of the 44 competing Nations, our Women’s squad came second to New Zealand by only two points pushing Australia into third – a fantastic result! Our men came a very respectable fifth in a strong field and our Paras finished in the top half of their group in fifth spot.
“With continued development and investment I feel confident that we will continue to compete at this level and bring home many more World Champions.”
There was time for our players to maximise their time on the Gold Coast, enjoying the sights and embracing the culture. With the Para events completed in the first week of the event, they spent time playing matches against Australian locals and a touring team from New Zealand.
As they travel home, our Aviva England squad can reflect on a brilliant event where their unity and strategic approach were key factors in their success. England’s performance at the 2023 World Bowls Championships provides a solid foundation to build upon for the future and will see England continuing to challenge the World’s best.