Katherine Rednall is aiming to emulate a memorable past 12 months as she sets her sights on retaining her World Indoor Bowls Championship crown.
The Stowmarket-based ace made history at Potters Resort, becoming the youngest ever female to lift the singles title by overcoming reigning champion Rebecca Field in a display of no mercy that belied her relative inexperience on the big stage.
But while the former Stowmarket High School pupil will have to contend with the added pressure of being defending champion, rather than a relatively unknown qualifier, this time around, Rednall is confident of adding to her growing trophy cabinet when she begins her singles quest against Marion Parcell tomorrow.
“I think I can match my achievement form last year,” said Rednall, who also added the ladies’ under-25 singles title and senior and junior international honours to her collection in the last year.
“Last year I came into the event as a qualifier and so had no real pressure on me whereas this time round I’m going in as the defending champion.
“I know everyone will be asking whether I can do it again and that is something I would obviously love to do.
“The last 12 months have been absolutely brilliant. As well as my individual success I was involved in the senior international series winning two titles and did the same in the junior series, it’s been a memorable year.
“As a result I feel a lot more confident on the carpet this time around because I have had that experience.
“I know which bowls to play when whereas last year I had to rely on what others were telling me about how the carpet ran.
“I’m feeling good and playing really well so hopefully I can take that into the championships.”
The 19-year-old, who first features in the mixed pairs event alongside Mervyn King, starting with an opening round tie against Alex Marshall and Julie Forrest today (2pm), has been handed a major boost in her quest to get her hands back on the singles title with an extremely kind draw.
However, despite avoiding the likes of Amy Stanton, Field and Laura Thomas, who face one another in the opening round, until a possible final showdown on Thursday, Rednall is aware she cannot underestimate anyone as she aims to book a semi-final berth against either Victoria Bilson or Laura Hawryszko on Wednesday.
“I’m glad to avoid Rebecca, Laura and Amy, who I have played a few times recently in really close matches,” she added. “I would not look forward to facing any of them and thankfully they are not in my half of the draw so I wouldn’t meet them until later which is pleasing.
“However, I know I can’t afford to under estimate anyone but I’ve been playing great so hopefully I can continue that into the competition.”
n Stowmarket’s Mark Royal endured a difficult start to the tournament as he and partner Andy Thomson suffered a first-round defeat to Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker in the pairs competition. He bounced back to win his singles first round on Wednesday against Mark McPeak and faces third seed Robert Paxton in the second round on Tuesday.