David Bolt races past his rivals to snatch top prize at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic
Englishman defeats Wales’ David Wyn Kingdon for men’s singles glory in Hong Kong’s most prestigious bowls tournament, while local heroine, Dorothy Yu, finishes second in the women’s competition
He’s got the name and definitely the game as England’s David Bolt raced past his rivals to win the men’s singles title at the Hong Kong International Bowls Classic on Sunday.
Hong Kong debutant Bolt dashed through the 64-draw to reach Sunday’s final, where he met Wales’ David Wyn Kingdon at the Craigengower Cricket Club.
Bolt won the final in style, 9-5, 5-6, 3-1 but it was something about his name that stirred the crowd on a sunny afternoon.
Having a name like Bolt can come handy for the 38-year-old but apart from sharing the same surname as the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, the comparisons stop there.
“I don’t look anything like him! I haven’t got his physique that’s for certain! To be honest, it’s actually nice to have my sort of name represented in lawn bowls. It’s not a popular name, Bolt, though,” said the 38-year-old, who hails from Sunderland.
Coming from England’s Midlands, where they are coming off an indoor season, to Hong Kong’s outdoor rinks didn’t unsettle the bowls retail owner, who said he made the transition “very well”.
“It’s my first time over here and it’s been fantastic and I have loved every second here,” said Bolt.
“I knew leaving England [Midlands] and coming here, I thought my form was very good having played indoors. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the pace of the greens coming back outdoors [in Hong Kong]. But I always thought if I played the way I can then I have as good a chance as anybody. To be honest, I wouldn’t come out here if I thought I didn’t think I have a chance of winning it and justify my selection.”
Bolt has won a bronze medal at the World Champions of Champions tournament in 2012 and has clinched national and British titles but “nothing compares with this one.”
“ It’s definitely my best win on the international scene. It’s nice to compete against all these bowlers from other countries and come out on top,” said Bolt.
Kingdon did give Bolt a good run but the Englishman pulled out the stops in the tiebreaker to win it 3-1 to end an entertaining game of bowls.
“I know David [Wyn Kingdon] very well. We have played a lot against each other in international test series, maybe not directly against him but I know him very well. He’s a great bloke and a great player. I never take anybody for granted when you go on the green. You have to play your best against a player like David. I was really happy with my form going into final and hopefully we managed to produce a great final.”
In the women’s final, Malaysia’s Zuraini Khalid upstaged defending Classic champion Dorothy Yu Kin-shan of Hong Kong 14-1, 3-10, 5-0.
“I’m still satisfied with my performance,” said Yu, who was hoping to retain the title she won so well last year. “I could have done better in the tiebreak but it was not to be. I didn’t play well in the first set, but luckily I came back in the second. But I didn’t have it in the tiebreaker. I’m still happy though,” she said.