LAWN BOWLS: World champion Kelsey Cottrell's love affair with team events continued yesterday when she and fellow Queenslander Lynsey Armitage won Australian Open pairs gold.
Cottrell, who learned to bowl on the Coast, and Armitage beat Club Kawana's Carol Williams and Jane Bush 11-8 12-2 at the Darebin International Sports Centre in Victoria.
The triumph follows Cottrell's Australian Open triples gold in 2011 and 2012, and her pairs gold at the world championship in Adelaide last December.
Cottrell won the national singles title in 2009.
She hailed her partnership with experienced Gold Coaster Armitage, who was part of the 2011 and 2012 triples victories.
"It's a great partnership," Cottrell said.
"We've played a lot together.
"I've been in the Australian team for seven years, and Lynsey was in there before me.
"We've become very good friends over the years.
"We've played a lot together internationally and won a handful of state titles together, and now we've won three Australian Open titles together."
Cottrell's singles campaign this week ended in the third round, and she admitted her focus had shifted to team events.
The 22-year-old said the Australian selectors' decision to name her in the team events at the world championship and not the singles was probably an indication of where she was headed as a player.
She will, however, play singles for Australia against the Kiwis in New Zealand next month.
"It (singles) has been on the backburner a little bit," she said.
"I haven't really played all that much singles (of late).
"I think I'm leaning that way (the team events)," she added.
"I've been playing singles for Australia for a while and won a lot of silver and bronze, hence I was playing in the team events for the world championships, and it paid dividends - I won my first world title."
- MARK BODE