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Bronze medal ‘just the beginning’ for Rednall

MEDALLIST: Katherine Rednall
MEDALLIST: Katherine Rednall

Katherine Rednall’s trophy cabinet must be overflowing by now as the Stowmarket 22-year-old returns from the Commonwealth Games with a bronze medal.

The Felixstowe & Suffolk Bowling Club member was part of the England Women’s Triples Lawn Bowls that successfully defeated Canada in the bronze medal match of the 2018 Games, held on the Gold Coast, Australia.

It is the latest in the bowls star’s impressive list of achievements, which includes being a three-time World Indoor Bowls Champion. But Rednall said it is ‘definitely very special.’

When Katherine Rednall first saw a 2018 Commonwealth Games medal, she thought they were ‘absolutely beautiful’ but probably a little out of reach as she prepared to represent her country for the first time.

But the 22-year-old has returned this week with her hands on a bronze medal as part of the England Women’s Triples Lawn Bowls team, and said ‘it was very special’.

She said, on her return to the UK: “It’s all a bit of a blur already, but I’m very happy.

“It was the first time I’ve ever taken part in a competition this large, multi-event, and the first time I’ve ever represented my country too.

“It’s definitely very special, especially when you step out under an England banner, rather than your name.

“I was there as an England lawn bowls player, not as Katherine — that was an incredible moment, to realise the importance of it all, you’re not there just for you.

“I feel I learned a lot across the championships and I really hope this is just the start of it all for me.

“I would like to believe I have a hope of being selected for Birmingham at the next Commonwealths (in 2022) after my performance, and with another four years to develop further too.

“It would be even more special to do it at a home Games, and even upgrade to gold.

“When I first saw the medals I thought ‘I’d quite like one of them, they’re absolutely beautiful’, so I’m very pleased.”

Her team-mates in the Triples team were Ellen Falkner and Sian Honnor, who had been part of the 2014 Glasgow triples team that won gold.

Rednall said she did feel a bit of pressure teaming up with former gold medallists but they had made her feel comfortable and more confident.

She said bowls was keenly supported in Australia and the visibility the sport was given ‘added to the experience’.

“It’s impossible to explain what it’s really like to be there,” she said. “My dad (John, who competed at the 1994 Games in Canada) had said that it’s impossible to explain but I only really understand that now.

“The crowds were amazing and the arena was packed for every match, and the amount of television time it was given just added to the whole experience.”

She said the Australian greens were very different to England and more closely resembled the surface and movement of the carpet of indoor bowls.

“I’ve played more indoors tournaments so it suited me well,” Rednall, who narrowly missed out on a quarter-final spot in the Singles, said.

“And it was a great start to my outdoor career really, it’s given me a lot of confidence.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect ahead of my first game in the singles, and I found it really hard.

“I was in the hardest group of all but I played scrappy stuff in my first match and lost .”

She then went on to beat eventual champion Jo Edwards.

“Other than coming back with a bronze, that’s my standout moment,” she said. “Jo is a legend and beating her was amazing.

“It gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the competition.

“I’m now going to take time to enjoy the moment before the outdoor season starts.”

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