2023 World Championships Preview
The 2023 World Championships are set to take place on the Gold Coast of Australia from August 29th to September 10th. 44 countries will be participating with Canada fielding a full squad of five men and five women.
|Women’s Singles:||Kelly McKerihen (Toronto, ON)|
|Women’s Pairs:||Kelly McKerihen, Jordan Kos (Regina, SK)|
|Women’s Triples:||Emma Boyd (Delta, BC), Baylee van Steijn (Gore’s Landing, ON), Joanna Cooper (Calgary, AB)|
|Women’s Fours:||Jordan Kos, Emma Boyd, Baylee van Steijn, Joanna Cooper|
|Men’s Singles:||Ryan Bester (Hanover, ON)|
|Men’s Pairs:||Ryan Bester, John Bezear (Kitchener, ON)|
|Men’s Triples:||Cameron Lefresne (Enfield, NS), Rob Law (Winnipeg, MB), Owen Kirby (Kitchener, ON)|
|Men’s Fours:||Cameron Lefresne, John Bezear, Rob Law, Owen Kirby|
Ryan Bester will face the likes of England’s Sam Tolchard and Japan’s Kenta Treacher in Section 2. With newcomers Sweden, and rarely seen Singapore in this Section, a win over either England or Japan should all but secure a top two finish in the group. A local to the Gold Coast for over a decade, Bester faces both Tolchard and Treacher at his home club of Broadbeach, so local knowledge should prevail.
Kelly McKerihen is in arguably the most difficult section for singles. She will need to overcome South Africa’s Colleen Piketh, Guernsey’s Lucy Beere, and Norfolk Island’s Shae Wilson in Section 3. Piketh took down McKerihen for bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, while Beere and Wilson finished 2nd and 4th respectively at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The competition in this section will be tough with any of these four likely to finish in 1st or 2nd to advance.
Bester and Bezear have a slightly easier group than some of the others with England (Morris/Tolchard) and New Zealand (Grantham/Kelly) being their toughest opponents. New Zealand is showcasing a new squad this year, so the Canadians should take the opportunity to “welcome” this new squad to the big stage.
McKerihen and Kos will be looking to get past Scotland (McIntyre/Anderson) and India (Choubey/Moni Saikia) in Section 3. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Choubey and Moni Saikia were part of the women’s fours team that won gold, so the pressure is on for the Canadian duo to step up to the plate.
Lefresne, Law, and Kirby may be the youngest triples team that Canada has seen in decades. Despite their youthful appearance, Lefresne and Law have competed at World Championships and Commonwealth Games before, while Kirby has represented Canada at the World Youth Championships on multiple occasions. England’s Ridout, Brett, and Walker are likely the favourites for Section 1, but the youngsters from Canada will be hot on their heels to advance from the group.
Cooper’s experience will be called upon to guide Boyd and van Steijn in their first World Championship foray. New Zealand (Poulson, Bruce, and Smith) and Wales (Thomas, Russ, and Daniels) will be tough to overcome in Section 2. But don’t count out the Canucks early – Boyd has spent the past year playing in Australia and van Steijn has seen international competition in both Wales and California!
Kirby, Law, Bezear, and Lefresne have a couple of powerhouses to face in Section 4: Scotland and England. Legends of the game Paul Foster and Alex Marshall will be leading a tough Scottish squad, while internet sensation Nick Brett will be looking to make England famous once more. If the Canadian crew can steal a win from either of those giants, they should be able to advance to the playoffs. As an added bonus, the Canucks will get to face France, who are new to the international scene in bowls.
Cooper, van Steijn, Boyd, and Kos will be hard-pressed to escape Section 1 with the likes of Australia, Ireland, and reigning 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalists India all crammed into the group. With only 7 countries in this group, it will be a hard task to advance to the playoffs; but with all games being played on familiar territory at Broadbeach and Musgrave Hill, Cooper and Kos may have some fond memories of the two host clubs that could prove beneficial when the time comes.
Champion of Champions
Immediately following the 2023 World Championships, the Champion of Champions event will take place from September 11-16 at Club Robina in the Gold Coast. Featuring only the singles winners of every participating country, Canada’s Jordan Kos (Saskatchewan) and Pat Bird (Alberta) will be representing the red and white.
Kos will be primed after competing in pairs and fours at the World Championships for two weeks prior. With only 3 sections on the women’s side, to get to 8 players competing in the quarterfinals, the top two from each section advance as well as the two next best players from across all sections. This means if Kos finishes 1st or 2nd in Section 2 she’ll advance automatically, but there’s a chance she could advance if she finishes in 3rd place too. This is reassuring as she’ll face the likes of Scotland and Malaysia in her section which won’t be easy to overcome.
Bird will be eager to show his competitors in Section 2 why he won Canada’s Fours and Singles Championships in 2022. On the men’s side, there are 4 sections so only the top two from each section advance to the playoffs. With the likes of Scotland, South Africa, and Norfolk Island, Bird will have some work to do in order to finish 1st or 2nd in his section and advance to the quarterfinals.
New for 2023, the format is changing from two 7-end sets, to three 5-end sets. This faster paced game will be a change for both Kos and Bird, as Canada has yet to trial this new format until the summer of 2024.
For schedules and results, click here: https://world2023.bowls.com.au/event-info/schedule/
For more information, please contact Jake Schuknecht at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bowls Canada Boulingrin
Bowls Canada Boulingrin (BCB) is the governing body responsible for lawn bowls in Canada. The BCB mission is to advance the sport of bowls in Canada. For more details on Bowls Canada Boulingrin and the sport of lawn bowls, visit www.bowlscanada.com.
About 2023 World Bowls Championships
The 2023 World Bowls Championships will take place on the Gold Coast, Queensland from August 29 – September 10. The event will be held at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, Musgrave Hill Bowls Club, Club Helensvale, Mudgeeraba Bowls Club and Paradise Point Bowls Club. The World Bowls Championships are held every two years, and feature men’s and women’s singles, pairs, triples, and fours.