Jamie Walker ready to try, try again for Commonwealth glory

·3-min read
Jamie Walker ready to try, try again for Commonwealth glory

If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again is the old motto being put into action by lawn bowls star Jamie Walker.

Northampton native Walker, who now plays his bowls in Devon, suffered agonisingly in the gold medal match of the men’s pairs with fellow Devonian Sam Tolchard but he made a good start to his singles campaign as he looks to make amends.

Walker beat Jamaica’s Robert Simpson 21-8 on Wednesday to continue his perfect start, after he beat Namibian Carel Aron Olivier 21-12 just hours after defeat to Welsh pair Jarrad Breen and Daniel Salmon.

And why Walker has eyes on adding gold to his silver medal, he knows there is a long way to go yet.

“It would be awesome to get to another final and get to another medal stage but there’s still a lot of work left to do,” said Walker.

“I’ve still got two tricky games left in the group stage, and then if you’re lucky enough to get out the group, you’re going to be playing some quality players in the quarter final.

“If you’re not on your game you’re not going to be getting to the final, so it’s one game at a time – a cliché - but that’s what it is.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

The 30-year-old was in complete control against Simpson, adapting to inclement weather in Leamington Spa to establish a healthy 11-1 lead in just seven ends.

“I started off really good, found my rhythm and length,” added Walker.

“That little bit of rain made a big difference to the rink, it slowed up and the line got tighter.

“It took me a few ends to adjust but I managed to get over the line.”

Walker now faces matches against Fiji’s Semesa Naiseruvati and Malaysia’s Fairul Abd Muin on Thursday in the knowledge that one win will likely be enough to see him through to the quarter finals.

There was also English success in the women's pairs, as Sophie Tolchard and Amy Pharaoh qualified for the quarter finals of the women’s pairs thanks to victories over Fiji, 19-13, and Scotland, 19-7.

The wins backed up the duo’s 14-13 opening win to see them finish top of the group, as both Tolchard and Pharaoh gun for a medal after disappointing results in the triples and singles, respectively.

“We’re quite harsh on ourselves, we always think we’ve got more in the tank,” said Tolchard, ahead of Friday’s quarter final.

“As much as that’s a solid performance, we know we can do better than that. “We’re just going to keep building game on game.”

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