World Bowls Championships throwback: Top 10 moments (10-6)

by Lachlan Williams on December 19, 2023

As the year nears an end, we take a look back on the amazing spectacle of the 2023 World Bowls Championships, and rank some of the best moments of the biggest world champs to date.

10. Records tumble at biggest World Champs to date

After nearly seven years since the last instalment, the 2023 World Bowls Championships was worth the wait, proving to be the biggest edition in the event’s history.

44 teams from nations around the globe descended on the Gold Coast, with more than 400 athletes competing in more than 1200 games across the two-week event.

In a world first, more than 130 hours of streaming was made available to bowls fans across the globe, including live streams and broadcasts of all 11 finals.

There were many countries making their World Championships debut in 2023, with many upsets and close contests to go with it.

One such upset was Turkey’s Bahar Cil beating Guernsey’s Lucy Beere (2022 Commonwealth Games singles silver medallist), while France came within an end of beating eventual men’s triples gold medallist Australia in the final round of sectional play.

WATCH: Turkey players chat with ABC at 2023 World Bowls Championships

9. Gary Kelly’s arrives on the world stage

Making Australia his home several years ago well and truly paid dividends for Ireland’s Gary Kelly at these world championships, making his mark on the world stage.

After years of being close (2016 pairs silver, 2022 Comm Games singles silver), Kelly broke through on the Gold Coast.

Teaming up with Adam McKeown, the Irish duo took down the formidable host-nation pair of Aaron Teys and Aaron Wilson to claim pairs gold.

Kelly rode his strong form through singles play, dominant in an impressive run to the final before falling just short in a memorable final against Canada’s Ryan Bester.

Kelly lost just two matches across the two weeks to stamp himself as one of the best in the world.

8. Love in the air on Rinkside Live

Love was in the air for the world to see on Bowls Australia live streaming platform Rinkside Live in one of the more bizarre moments of the event.

With France and Australia locked in a thrilling men’s triples encounter at Mudgeeraba, French lead Thomas Royet shifted focus for a moment, taking out a note reading ‘Kiki Marry Me’ and holding it to the camera.

The live proposal (the first of the kind we have seen) ended well for the French romantic, with Kiki saying yes!

7. Aussie men domination

With the eyes of the world watching, Australia’s men’s team flexed their muscles on the Gold Coast against the world’s best.

Aaron Wilson couldn’t quite replicate the magic from Birmingham 2022, but still managed to bring home a bronze in the singles and silver in the pairs alongside Aaron Teys.

Teys would add a maiden world championship crown to his resume in the fours, while Corey Wedlock, Carl Healey and Aron Sherriff would walk away from the Gold Coast with two world championships (triples and fours).

The Aussie men’s unit also took out the overall men’s trophy to go with their medal collection.

The two gold for Sherriff adds to his 2012 fours gold at Adelaide, making him Australia’s most prolific male bowler at world championships.

6. Andrew Kelly goes from Blackjack to All Black to lay big tackle

In one of the more unusual moments of the World Championships, New Zealand’s Andrew Kelly turned from Blackjack to All Black momentarily at Broadbeach.

As a thief did their best to evade police, making a break across green two at Broadbeach, a swift Kelly pounced to take down the individual and keep them restrained before police got to the scene moments later.

Certainly a moment that will live long in memories of those in attendance!

Come back tomorrow as we reveal our top five moments from the 2023 World Bowls Championships.