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Sad news for world indoor bowls legend Paul Foster

PUBLISHED: 18:53 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:53 11 January 2018

Hong Kong's Lychee and Queenie Lai, who pushed Aussies Scott Walker and Trentan Healey all the way in the qualifying rounds. Picture: David Rhys Jones

Hong Kong's Lychee and Queenie Lai, who pushed Aussies Scott Walker and Trentan Healey all the way in the qualifying rounds. Picture: David Rhys Jones

Archant

Sad news from Potters on Thursday involving five-time world indoor singles champion Paul Foster.

Foster was on his way to the venue and had got as far as King’s Lynn when news came through that his dad and bowls mentor Hugh Foster, had died, and he dashed back to his home in the Ayrshire port of Troon.

The news put the sport of bowls into perspective and cast the ‘Just’ world indoor championships under a cloud.

It also meant, of course, that Foster had to pull out of the pairs and mixed pairs tournament, his place being taken by world number nine Darren Burnett in the mixed pairs, and by world number 17 Neil Furman in the open pairs.

Meanwhile, the show must go on, and there were some entertaining matches yesterday to lift the spirits as a group of mainly overseas hopefuls battled it out for places in the main pairs field.

Quite apart from their exploits on the green, they had some stories to tell of what they had left behind in their various countries.

Charlie Herbert spoke of the fires close to his home in California that you could see, smell and taste, followed by torrential rain that produced those devastating mud slides.

Lychee and Queenie Lai, from Hong Kong, who were making their first visit to the United Kingdom, were full of praise for the venue, and could not stop talking about how cold it is in East Anglia – but they could not compete with Scott Walker, from Perth in Western Australia, who reports that a few days ago he was sweltering in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius.

Compare that to Canada’s Erik Galipeau, who says there was 12 inches of snow when he left his home in Ontario, and they were dealing with temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius,

Ireland’s Mark McPeak and Stuart Bennett, who started as favourites, if only because they are regular indoor bowlers, have some ground to make up after losing a set to Israel’s Roy Jennings and Moti Palak.

But it says something about the closeness of the competition that not one of the eight pairs can boast a 100pc sets record.

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