Aidan Zittersteijn at the 2023 World Bowls Championships Tournament Gold Coast, Australia. CIs BOWLS/23083116
Team Cook Islands participating at the 2023 World Bowling Tournament on the Gold Coast, Australia from August 29 to September 10, have experienced a number of challenges in the first week of bowls.
As of Thursday (AUST time) this
week, the Cooks Bowling Team results are as follows. Women’s Singles (Tai Jim)
- Section 2, 3rd Placing Overall; Men’s Pairs (Aidan Zittersteijn, Taiki
Paniani) Section 4 - 3rd Placing Overall in Section 4; Women’s Fours
(Emily Jim, Tiare Jim, Philomena Akaruru and Rima Strickland) Section 4 - 3rd
Placing Overall in Section 4; Men’s Triples (Royden Aperau, Adoni Rairoa and
Teora Turua) Section 4 - 4th Placing Overall in Section 4.
Team manager, Anthony Turua said
he is “proud” of the team’s achievements in the tournament’s first week up
against the 44 countries.
“Unfortunately we did not make
the pool play, however our Men’s Pairs and Women Fours were so close against
the wealth of teams from around the world.
“We will now refocus our
journey to next week’s discipline,” said Turua.
After a day off from the first
week of bowls, the team were back at their training schedule at the SouthPort
Bowling Green, Gold Coast.
“We would like to say a special
meitaki ma’ata to our Cook Islands Community here in the Gold Coast and
Brisbane for their support and catering,” he said.
The team is made up of players
from Rarotonga, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. The Men’s team are Royden
Aperau (Rar), Taiki Bosco Paniani (NZ), Adoni Wichman Rairoa (Aust), Aidan
Zittersteijn (NZ), Teora Turua (NZ); Women’s team are Tai Jim (Rar), Emily Jim
(Rar), Tiare Jim (Rar), Philomina Akaruru Ieremia (NZ) and Rima Strickland
Following are briefs of the first
week of bowls from Cook Islands Bowls.
Adoni Wichman Rairoa at the 2023 World Bowls Championships Tournament Gold Coast, Australia. CIs BOWLS/23083117
The Men’s Pair ended a successful
tournament with an outstanding exhibition of how you can win a game in blocks
of one and two, eventually running out 19-5 winners over Papua New Guinea at
Helensvale Bowls on the final afternoon of qualifying.
Having disposed of Switzerland by
18-11 in the middle round, this result gave them a sweep on the final day and
third place overall in their ten-strong group, with six wins and three losses.
The Cooks were quick to make any
small adjustments needed, it was a game for the purists, who always tell you
that one at a time will do.
It was a difficult start for Tai
Jim in the Women’s Singles, she always knew she had quite a task on her hands
in the first match of the World Bowls Championships, as her opponent was
five-time World Indoor Singles champion Katherine Rednall of England.
Despite a solid performance from
her, that's how it played out.
Rednall was all business and
confident; the ninth end, with eight bowls in shot and for Jim, despite four
inside 18 inches, still dropped one shot. Final score: England 21, Cook Islands
Jim suffered a second narrow loss
of the day 18-21 to Wales, but was still placed well enough to close out her
section in fourth, a good return earned by plenty of quality bowls against
several difficult opponents.
They used to say that only mad
dogs and Englishmen went out in the midday sun. Well, the sun at noon was
shining brightly on the Broadbeach Bowling Club and since Tai Jim and her
opponent Maria Evangelisti of Brazil were clearly not English, they saw no
point in hanging around. A match that rattled through in less than an hour went
to Jim by 21-12, but the telling stat was that only one of the 13 ends needed
to settle affairs resulted in a single.
The three Cook Islands teams at
Paradise Point delivered mixed results in the opening round with the Women’s
Fours collecting the only win, 17-8 against Singapore.
The Men went down to two narrow
defeats, 15-20 to Japan in the triple, and 14-19 to Malaysia in the pairs. Both
Men’s teams now face Scotland, while the Four’s takes on Thailand.
Cook Islands Women’s Singles, Tai Jim and Maria Evangelisti from Brazil. CIs BOWLS/23083118
A superb game of bowls was
decided by the barest of margins when the Men’s Triples played the high-profile
Scots, eventually finishing all square at 15-15 when both skips missed their
target by a fraction with their final bowls.
In the Women’s Fours, a poor
start, which included conceding an ugly five on the fourth end, meant the women
were always playing catch-up in their third round match, eventually closing
with a flattering 16-19 loss to Philippines.
The Men’s Pairs went down in a
tough contest, needing to keep the momentum of the previous day’s final match
going, ran into a tough South African combination first thing in their morning
match at Broadbeach. They finally fell short in a contest where every bowl
mattered by 12-16.
The Men’s Triples continued their
upwards progress in the middle round of day two, comfortably taking on China
Macau, winning 27-8.
For most of their World
Championship journey the Women’s Four have been in fine form. Playing against
Papua New Guinea - a four on the first end and three two’s in increasingly
windy conditions they were building an imposing lead. At nine ends it was 10-6,
one end later it was 13-6. One more end win was probably going to be enough.
And they had four clear-cut chances to get it… after looking so promising with
40 minutes to go, it was a devastating finale - PNG 15, Cook Islands 13.
On the same day, elsewhere things
were brighter. Tai Jim completed a perfect day with a 21-14 win over France,
and remains in the hunt. The Men’s Pair beat Falkland Islands 25-10 to bag two
from three, and the triples lost to Philippines 10-18, which makes it hard for
them to advance with only one game left.
Even after their dramatic
collapse the day prior, the Women’s Fours team was the only team with a real
chance of qualifying for the last eight at the World Bowls Championships.
To achieve this they had to beat
Scotland and hope Thailand lost, or win by two shots less than they did. The
Philippines took care of that, winning the game, but getting past the great
wall of Scotland was another problem entirely.
One only had to look at the box
score to see the difficulty. The Cooks won more ends but only managed one
multiple, a two on the seventh. Then they had to scrap for every scrap they
It was evident Scotland had come
to play, after they too suffered a loss last evening. They were never far from
the jack, if it moved, they were quick to get all over it again. Two of the
three multiples the Scots achieved were on displaced jacks.
Scotland deserved their win, but
13-9, a low-scoring affair, was a true reflection of a very competitive match.
In other matches, Tai Jim lost a
nail-biter to Emma McIntyre of Scotland, 19-21. The Men’s Pair decisively beat
Sweden, 26-5; and the Men’s Triple in their final section game, beat Malta by