Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Bowls

  • 01/01/2022

Lawn bowls has been part of the Commonwealth Games since they began in 1930, but missed the Kingston 1966 edition, due to lack of available greens.

Women's bowls made its debut at Brisbane 1982, with a triples event, while para bowls was added at Victoria 1994.

No one nation has dominated the sport over that history, although England has the most medals (51) and ties with Scotland for most gold (20). New Zealand has won 13 gold and 40 medals total.

Jo Edwards has won back-to-back gold in women's singles, but will not return to defend her crown, with Katelyn Inch contesting the event for New Zealand. Edwards also won gold in women's pairs, with Marie Watson at Manchester 2002.

Probably our best hope for gold this time round will be men's world singles champion Shannon McIlroy, while current world fours champion Ali Forsyth will skip a newlook combination at Birmingham. Both won their world titles in 2016, with the 2020 event eventually cancelled, due to COVID-19.

Former world champion Val Smith will contest her fifth Commonwealth Games, hoping to add to her singles silver at Delhi 2010 and fours bronze at Glasgow 2014.  

Jo Edwards celebrates her Gold Coast 2018 gold medal
Jo Edwards celebrates her Gold Coast 2018 gold medal. Photo credit: Photosport

NZ Team

Katelyn Inch (singles), Inch & Selina Goddard (pair), Val Smith, Tayla Bruce & Nicole Toomey (triple), Smith, Bruce, Goddard & Toomy (four)

Shannon McIlroy (single), McIlroy & Tony Grantham (pair), Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly (triple), Forsyth, Galloway, Kelly & Grantham (four)

Pam Walker & Lynda Bennett (para pair), Mark Noble & Graham Skellern (para pair), Sue Curran/Bronwyn Milne & Gerald Brouwers/Kevin Smith (vision-impaired pair)

NZ Medals

Gold (13) - William Fielding & Peter McWhannell (pairs 1930), Men's fours (1938), Walter Denison & Lance Macey (pairs 1938), James Pirret (singles 1950), Phil Exelby & Robert Henry (pairs 1950), John Morris & Richard Pilkington (pairs 1958), Bob McDonald & Robbie Robson (pairs 1962), Men's fours (1974), Ian Dickison (singles 1986), Judy Howat & Marie Watson (pairs 1990), Katie Portas (visually impaired singles 1994), Jo Edwards & Sharon Sims (pairs 2002), Jo Edwards (singles 2014), Jo Edwards (singles 2018)

Silver (12) - Frank Livingstone (singles 1938), James Pirret (singles 1954), Bob McDonald & Robbie Robson (pairs 1970), Men's fours (1978), Men's fours (1982), Women's triples (1982), Women's fours (1990), Millie Khan (singles 1990), Val Smith (singles 2010), Open para triples (2014), Open para triples (2018) 

Bronze (15) - William Fielding (singles 1930), Men's fours (1950), Bob McDonald & Phil Skoglund (pairs 1974), Peter Belliss (singles 1982), Rowan Brassey & Maurice Symes (pairs 1990), Men's fours (1990), Men's fours (1994), Women's fours (1994), Craig Nolan (visually impaired singles 1994), Millie Khan (singles 1998), Marlene Castle (singles 2002), Women's fours (2002), Mike Kernaghan (singles 2002), Jan & Marina Khan (pairs 2006), Women's fours (2014)