By Aidan Davis
Australia’s Aaron Wilson has claimed the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games’ blue-ribbon men’s singles gold medal in a stunning conclusion to the tournament.
The final gold medal of the bowls competition was contested tonight with Commonwealth Games debutant Wilson overcoming Canadian Ryan Bester – himself a Broadbeach resident and marquee player for the club in which the tournament was staged.
Wilson found himself five shots down in the early stages of the decider, 2-7, but really hit his straps when he drove a bare jack into the ditch with his first bowl of the eighth end. Wilson eventually collected two shots and then piled on the score over the proceeding ends with his confidence at sky-high levels.
The Cabramatta-based ace eventually prevailed by seven shots in the first to 21 shoot-out.
Wilson becomes just the nation’s third gold medallist in the showpiece men’s singles discipline, behind Rob Parrella (1990) and Kelvin Kerkow (2006).
Fittingly, both former winners were in attendance to see Wilson join the small and illustrious list of singles gold medallists, with Kerkow making the presentation of the medallion to his Jackaroos successor, and Parrella turning the scoreboard for the match.
Bester, without question one of the sport’s most credentialed players, was relegated to silver which he also won at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and his last two World Bowls Championships singles finishes.
Australia concludes the tournament as the most prolific medallist with five gold and two silver medals from the ten disciplines contested.