Having clinched the biggest individual prize in her sport at just 18, Katherine Rednall appears to have the world of bowls firmly within her hands.
The Stowmarket High School pupil made history last week at Potters Resort in Norfolk, becoming the youngest ever female to win the World Indoor Bowls Championship title by overcoming reigning champion Rebecca Field in a display of no mercy that belied her relative inexperience on the big stage.
“It is an amazing feeling and it hasn’t sunk in at all yet, it’s mad,” explained Rednall after clinching the title in her maiden appearance at the tournament. “I never expected to get that far ahead and I thought both sets would be much closer than that.
“Obviously before the tournament you think what it would be like to win it and I believed I could, but I never look beyond the round I am in.
“It really hasn’t sunk in that I am world champion and I made a point of not looking at that glass trophy, it is just ridiculous to have it in my hands.”
But what next for a sportswoman so young, who will now be looked upon and expected to dominate her sport for decades to come on the domestic and international scene?
“I had to go back to school and do double history and then catch up on all the work that I missed,” explained the newly-crowned champion on her dose of reality just a day after her triumph. “The national manager has been really supportive and I’ve got both the junior and senior competitions coming up in the next couple of months, which will be great.
“It will certainly be different coming back into competitions as the reigning ladies’ champion, but I hope people will be looking at me to lead the way in the future.”
That new-found pressure has already been evident as the Suffolk youngster remained stereotypically calm in the face of expectation to add the Ladies’ Under-25 Singles title to her burgeoning trophy cabinet by overcoming Danielle Martinson of North Cave Indoor Bowls Club in straight sets, at the event in Basingstoke.
One person who has been far from surprised by Rednall’s meteoric rise through the ranks is father and professional player John.
Having introduced his daughter into the sport at the age of five, Rednall senior has helped immerse the youngster into the world of bowls, travelling the world together as she watched on from the sidelines as he competed in numerous championships.
And after experiencing what it takes to enjoy longevity in the sport, as he prepares to undertake his 26th year as a professional, he is confident his protégé will more than just follow in his footsteps by eclipsing his achievements and becoming a household name.
“I don’t think there can be a prouder father anywhere on the planet,” he said.
“She’s achieved something that every sports person strives to do and that is win a world title.
“Seeing her takes me back to memories long ago when she first came on the rink and that gradual climb up to now has been fantastic.
“Her ambition is to have a long international career and she has always said she wanted to match my achievements.
“I’ve been playing for 25 years, which makes me the second longest serving international, which is lovely, but I know Katherine will at least do the same and represent England for years to come.
“There is a strange pressure on Katherine to be the guiding figure now being world champion and what I really hope is that all those people who have watched this event and have seen her will be inspired by the sport.
“The sport needs that, it needs to be publicised and have people of Katherine’s ilk and age to come along and make it a high-profile sport.”