Games gold rush continues for Vics
Victoria’s Carla Krizanic has won her second gold medal of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, while fellow Vics Josh Thornton and Ken Hanson have grabbed their own piece of golden Games history on a stunning day for Australia’s bowlers.
Sunbury Bowling Club’s Krizanic was part of the successful Australian women’s triples team along with Bec Van Asch of Tasmania and Natasha Scott of NSW. It was the second gold for all three after they were part of the women’s fours team which broke Australia’s 12-year Commonwealth Games bowls gold medal drought.
Earlier on a golden day for the Aussies, Thornton (East Shepparton) and Hanson (City of Colac) teamed with Queenslander Tony Bonnell to beat New Zealand 14-13 in the bowlers with a disability triples. Hanson, 68, is now Australia’s oldest Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Thornton (lead), Bonnell (second) and Hanson raced out to a 10-3 lead and looked all but sure of gold before New Zealand mounted a fightback to win 10 of the next 12 points to take a 13-12 lead ahead of the final end.
With the Kiwis positioning their bowls expertly on the final end, it all came down to Games debutant Hanson with his final two bowls to rescue Australia from defeat.
The Colac-based star did so with aplomb, bringing the crowd to their feet with two superb bowls – the first destined for legend status – to dethrone the Kiwi advantage and take a match-winning two-shot lead for the Aussies.
Bowls now holds the record for the two oldest Australian Commonwealth Games gold medalists, after Lynne Seymour (67) set the record just 16 hours ago with victory in the vision-impaired pairs.
“It probably hasn’t sunk in yet from my perspective,” Thornton told reporters after their famous victory.
“We’ve been combining well for a long time now and to fulfil our goals and dreams right now is quite amazing.
“I had total faith in the guys behind me. I may not have played the last end like I wanted to. When you get to know your teammates the way we’ve got to know each other, I had faith that Kenny (Hanson) was going to play a couple of rippers which he did.
“That first one … taking both bowls out clean to give us two, it’s something that will live on as legend.”
Hanson said: “There was no draw shot or anything like that. I let it go as hard as I could and hope I hit the right bowl, which it did. It went on to the other (NZ) bowl which was a bonus and left us with two shots we thought.
“We were fairly confident that we had two shots which gave us the win, but it was safe to play the shot and that made it a definite.
“If you had told me 18 months ago that I’d be standing here, about to get a gold medal, I would’ve said you’re kidding yourself. I’d never ever even entertained the idea of playing in the Commonwealth Games with a disability. But we’ve been through a lot together us guys and we’re not a bad combination.”
Krizanic, Van Asch and Scott secured their second gold medal after toppling Scotland 21-12 in the women’s triples decider to add to the women’s fours medallion won on Monday.
The trio now hold the distinction of being both reigning dual Commonwealth Games champions and world champions.