Rolling for gold
The Australian outfit will have at least four opportunities to roll for gold after progressing to the championship decider of the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s fours and women’s fours.
World number eight Kelsey Cottrell prevailed in a thriller 21-16 against Norfolk Island’s Carmen Anderson, while Malaysia’s Sita Zalina Binti Ahmad ended Fiji’s Litia Tikoisuva’s unbeaten record with a 21-11 demolishing to earn her spot in the final.
In a similarly tantalising final match, world number two Brett Wilkie will clash with world number three Safuan Said, from Malaysia.
Wilkie earned his berth courtesy of a 21-7 belting of Fuji’s Ratish Lal, who had won their previous round one encounter 21-12, while Said knocked off China’s Terence Lee 21-14.
In the men’s fours, the Aron Sherriff skipped Australian contingent continued their unbroken win record with a comfortable 27-11 victory against Canada to book their berth and will now face New Zealand’s Tony Grentham, Shaun Scott, Ali Forsyth and Richard Girvan, who ended Malaysia’s chances 21-8.
Natasha Van Eldik, Rebecca Quail, Lynsey Armitage and Karen Murphy cemented their position in the pointy end of the competition with a seemingly comfortable win against Japan 19-10, although after nine ends the game was well and truly in the balance with the score tied 7-7 before Australia picked up 6 on the tenth end to hit the lead.
The women’s fours will face the powerhouse New Zealand team of Leanna Curry, Genevieve Baildon, Jan Khan and world number one Jo Edwards in the final match, after they enjoyed a comprehensive 30-4 victory against Canada.
“It’s obviously a great thrill to see our first set of disciplines progress to the major game – the grand final,” National coach Steve Glasson said.
“Thrilled about the results, the guys are in great form and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s bouts where we go to the pairs and triples semis and hopefully repeat the dose of today.
“Whilst everything is looking positive and we’ve got medals guaranteed in every discipline, we’re yet to win one so we’ve got to keep our focus and maintain our professionalism both on and off the green to ensure we secure success.
“We’re definitely on-track, we’re exactly where we set our goals to be but we’re going to come up against some very strong sides in the backend of this so we’ve got to be on our toes and expect that we’re going to be severely challenged and be ready for it and react to that challenge.”
Asia Pacific Championships finals draw:
Brett Wilkie (AUS) v Safuan Said (MAS)
Kelsey Cottrell (AUS) v Sita Zalina Binti Ahmad (MAS)
Mark Berghofer, Mark Casey, Nathan Rice and Aron Sherriff (AUS) v Tony Grentham, Shaun Scott, Ali Forsyth and Richard Girvan (NZL)
Natasha Van Eldik, Rebecca Quail, Lynsey Armitage and Kelsey Murphy (AUS) v Leanna Curry, Genevieve Baildon, Jan Khan and Jo Edwards (NZL)
Asia Pacific Championships semi-final results
B. Wilkie (AUS) bt R. Lal (Fiji) 21-7
K. Cottrell (AUS) bt C. Anderson (NFI) 21-16
M. Berghofer, M. Casey, N. Rice and A. Sherriff (AUS) bt G. Wilson, T. Mason, J. Aveline and R. Bester (CAN) 27-11
N. Van Eldik, R. Quail, L. Armitage and K. Murphy (AUS) bt J. Goda, H. Mori, K. Emura and K. Treacher Hasebe (JPN) 19-10
Caption: Aron Sherriff is through to the men's fours final.