Lawn Bowls / Ra'anana's own places eighth in world at champions' tourney
Ra'anana bowler Laureen Harris has returned from Ayr in Scotland after participating in the World Champion of Champions tournament, in which national reigning champions from their respective countries lock horns.
Her debut in the world event could hardly have been more impressive. She started off with five successive wins and to set tongues wagging when, after five rounds, she headed her 11-up round-robin section solely undefeated.
Then, as often happens in this fickle game, she lost four of her remaining five games, and these mostly to the lower-ranked players in her section.
Harris had beaten Singapore, Namibia, Guernsey, Malaysia and New Zealand and finally Cyprus after going down to Spain, Japan, Scotland and Zimbabwe. Her final tally of six wins with four losses left her in the fourth log slot in her section, sufficient to qualify for the knockout rounds, for which the top four in each section qualify.
But there her challenge ended honorably; she lost the quarterfinal to Australia's Kelsey Cottrell in a tight finish when she lost 9-4 and 7-7, failing only on a measure to clinch the second.
Cottrell who came through for the title after defeating Guernsey's Lucy Bere in the final and Jersey's Lindsey Greechan in the semifinal.
In the overall log, Harris finished eighth among the 22 competing world champions. She had earned the privilege to represent Israel in this prestigious tournament as its reigning singles champion, having denied Kiryat Ono's Ruthie Gilor her sixth successive title. She equaled Gilor's performance, who also reached the quarterfinal stage in her 2004 debut.
Israel was not represented this year in the men's section. Reigning champion George Kaminsky was not available.
It had come pretty close to winning the gold when Jeff Rabkin lost in the final in 2006. Australia made it a double when Brett Wilkie won the men's title in the final against Scotland's Wayne Hogg.
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