12 July, 2021
Millmerran bowler wins Australian Open
Maree Gibbs, from Millmerran Bowls Club, and her partner Sue Brady from Mareeba competed in the Australian Open Bowls Championships two weeks ago and won the Over 60’s Ladies Pairs section.
The championships, which were held on the Gold Coast, are typically run annually, with this years taking place from the 12th to the 15th of June.
Mrs Gibbs said the Australian Open is normally an international competition, but travel restrictions meant this year’s championships looked a little different.
“Usually teams come from overseas but because of COVID there were no international teams this year, only all Australian players,” Mrs Gibbs said.
Despite this, Mrs Gibbs said the lack of international teams did not minimise the competition.
“We played for three days against a couple of hundred teams,” she said.
“We had one day of sectional play, where four teams played each other, one day of knock-outs and then the semi-finals and finals on the third day,” Mrs Gibbs said.
Mrs Gibbs, who is a self-taught bowler, said winning the competition came down to the last bowl and she couldn’t believe her eyes when it happened.
“I just jumped up and down, I couldn’t believe it, it was awesome,” she said.
“I had a brilliant time.”
Winning gold saw Mrs Gibbs and her bowling partner take home a trophy and a $4000 cheque, which was presented by the CEO of Bowls Australia, Neil Dalrymple.
Mrs Gibbs said she doesn’t yet know how she will spend her half of the prize money but she plans on just enjoying it.
This was the second time Mrs Gibbs competed in the Australian Open after she took home the silver medal in the singles section in 2015.