Kerkow draws curtain
SOUTH Tweed lawn bowler Kelvin Kerkow has announced his international outdoor retirement to focus on the 2007 and 2008 world indoor singles championships.
The 37-year-old won the singles gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, making headlines when he ripped his shirt off in celebration of a tense final win over Welshman Robert Weale in Melbourne.
"This has not been an easy decision to make but one I had to reach so I can focus on becoming the world indoor singles champion in January," Kerkow said yesterday.
"A clash between international events and those on the World Bowls Tour meant I had to decide between the pair.
"It wasn't fair to my fantastic Australian teammates, or myself, to split between the pair. At this stage the indoor crown is what I have committed to."
The indoor singles championships will be held in England from January 8 to 28 and Kerkow has committed to the same event in 2008.
"The timing clashes with World Bowls 2008 and Australia needs a committed squad to perform well against the best in the world," Kerkow said.
However, Kerkow is a confirmed starter for the 2007 Australian Open in Melbourne from February 18-24.
Kerkow has been one of the leading bowlers in Australia for the past decade and is currently ranked in the top 10 on the World Bowls Tour. He made his international debut in 1995 at the Asia Pacific Bowls Championship in Dunedin and returned with the singles gold medal. The next year, he represented Australia at the 1996 World Bowls Championship where he collected bronze medals in the singles and triples. Kerkow also represented Australia at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. In 2005 Kerkow claimed the prestigious Welsh Masters Singles trophy for the third time and he was a member of the fours combination that won silver at the World Bowls Championship.