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News Team Henselite Kylie Whitehead On Top of the World
November 20, 2019

Kylie Whitehead has added a World Title to her impressive list of achievements, when she took out the World Champion of Champions Singles in Adelaide earlier this month.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined I would get to that level, let alone win a World Championship." the Team Henselite star said, "I still have to pinch myself, and do a double take when people say it to me. I think the biggest moment was when they announced my name during the medal presentation and standing on top of the podium, that was a pretty crazy moment and one I will never forget."

"I had never experienced bowls at an international level, so didn’t really know what to expect, but everyone was so lovely, and I made so many new friends. And I absolutely loved playing at that level where every game is such high standard, and you know you have to play your best to win because these players are the best in their country. You know you have your work cut out for you."

"My toughest opponent was probably Sophie Tolchard, as she did beat me in the sectional, and she was all class, how she went about the game. And also Shae from Norfolk Island and Debbie from New Zealand were my biggest challenges and I had to go to another level to overcome both ladies."

In the final Kylie was a set down and 7-1 in the second but, like a true champion, she never gave up and was able to will herself back into the match.

"I just thought, 'try not to disgrace yourself'." she said. "Debbie had been playing really well all game, and I definitely let the occasion get to me. I guess the bowls gods were looking down on me, and through some horrible misfortune of Debbie's, I was able to pick up a 3, and then relaxed from there, as I thought, 'well hopefully I can get to a respectable score even if I lose in straight sets'."

"The crowd support definitely helped as well, as it was a 'home crowd'. I think they just wanted to see a better game than what it was looking like being! When I ended up winning the second set I honestly couldn't believe I had been able to take it to a tiebreaker, and thought, well win or lose, I got myself back in the game and regardless of the result, I was going to be happy."

"I think playing for your country you definitely feel added pressure. And being on home soil added to that a bit too, because you want to do your country proud. I was just glad I was able to get back in the game and didn't end up disgracing myself. Australia has such a rich history of champions too, particularly in this event, so even though I was nowhere in the calibre of previous winners, I just didn’t want to let our reputation down."

"The greens were very similar to my home clubs at Wodonga, so I knew that I would feel reasonably comfortable on them. I love that my Dreamline XGs handle any conditions. I think I have used Dreamline XGs now for 6 years and would not use any other bowl."

"Regardless of how I would have done, though, the whole week was an amazing experience. All the competitors and managers were all so lovely and kind, and nothing was too much trouble for anyone. I was able to make some life-long friends who I will definitely keep in contact with, and hopefully can get back to play in it again one day just to experience it all again. World bowls and Adelaide Bowling Club did such a fantastic job of running the event also."

"I definitely had plenty of support, a group of bowlers from my home club at Wodonga which was so special to have them there all week. My nephew and my Mum also made the journey down from Port Pirie and Alice Springs respectively, and they had never watched me play competitively, so to have them there was amazing and something I will never forget. And, of course, my number 1 supporter, my Grandma was with me every step of the way. There was a photo taken of her and I embracing after I won, and definitely so happy that moment was captured, because it is one that I will hold dear to me forever."

"Next up I am playing at Merimbula at the Australian Championships in the singles, which holds a special place for me as it was where I won my first national title, so I'm looking forward to getting back there and playing against some good friends at a great club. After that, I am not really sure, I will keep playing bowls locally and at state, and if I am lucky to enough to get back to compete at the Champ of Champs again that would be amazing, but I will just keep enjoying my bowls and see where it takes me."
 

Photos:

Top right, Australia's Kylie Whitehead holds up the World Champion of Champions trohpy

Bottom, Kylie Whitehead with Runner-up, Debbie Lee, from NZ..

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Kylie Whitehead On Top of the World