Pharaoh and Tolchard ready to battle for more Commonwealth glory

·2 min read
Pharaoh and Tolchard ready to battle for more Commonwealth glory

Amy Pharoah and Sophie Tolchard know what it's like to win Commonwealth Games gold - and they are embracing that experience as they look for another.

It's 12 years since Grimsby star Pharaoh joined forces with Ellen Falkner to win the women's lawn bowls pairs title in Delhi.

And eight since Tolchard, then just 22, claimed triples gold on her Games debut in Glasgow.

Together they will take on Australia's Kristina Krstic and Ellen Ryan in Saturday's women’s pairs final, Pharoah's best mate Falkner now part of the Aussie coaching staff at Leamington Spa.

"There's a lot of relief and we're just really happy to have guaranteed a medal and made a final but obviously it's the gold we want. We can still play better, we’ve got lots more to give," said Pharaoh, 43, a school teacher from Grimsby.

"Having been in a Commonwealth final before we've both got a little more awareness about what to expect and know not to confuse excitement for nerves.

"It's very different to Delhi, I had just a few close family members there but the support is immense and I can't wait to get back out there and experience it again.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Tolchard and Pharaoh took control of their semi-final against New Zealand's Selina Goddard and Katelyn Inch, opening up an advantage from the first end that they never lost, winning 19-12.

"We've got more in the tank," said Torquay's Tolchard. "We've got to this point playing good bowls when we need to and it doesn't matter who we are playing, we back ourselves to play our game.

"When I won that gold in Glasgow it was my first Games and I had no expectations, obviously it's different this time but we're determined to embrace it. Winning a gold medal at home would be very special.”

There has never been a better time to discover bowls, truly a sport for everybody. It is all to play for – discover more at www.bowlsengland.com

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