Champion bowler staying positive

HAVING gone from world champion to Commonwealth Games discard, Rebecca Van Asch believes her bowling future promises more ups than downs.

The 26-year-old described missing out on the team for Glasgow as ``devastating'', but having retained her place in the national Jackaroos squad this week has every reason to think her longer-term prospects are much brighter.

Van Asch said her game is more suited to the quicker greens of Australasia rather than the Northern Hemisphere and with the next world championships and Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and the Gold Coast respectively, is confident of bouncing back.

Having won a pairs world championship on home soil in 2012, Van Asch was in an Australian squad of 12 for this year's Commonwealth Games only to miss out at the final cut.

``I always knew the Commonwealth Games would be tough, with 12 of us fighting for 10 spots, and I knew the surface over there was a lot heavier than I'm used to in Australia.

``Everything done at the last worlds went out the window and we had to start again and prove ourselves on slower greens which have never been my forte.

``I did everything to be in the best possible position, but didn't quite make it which was really disappointing, devastating and hard to take. 

``I went through every emotion under the sun after that, but since then I've regrouped and am thinking towards the next world champs because I would love to defend my title there and long term am setting my sights on the 2018 Commonwealth Games.''

Van Asch said climatic conditions lead to major differences in greens either side of the Equator.

The result is a bowl that takes 14-15 seconds in Australia, takes 10-11 in the UK, forcing players to bowl wider with a heavier bias to turn more.

``Australia and New Zealand probably have the best greens in the world, they are a lot harder and quicker, but the UK weather does not give them time to dry out properly and the grass is slightly longer up there.

``It does provide a home ground advantage when they've got to come down here and my biggest achievements have been on quicker greens. I've won on the Gold Coast and played in New Zealand quite a few times and am quite comfortable on their greens.''

The national squad of 20 announced by Bowls Australia this week is preparing for trans-Tasman, Asia Pacific and world championship tournaments.

Van Asch, who won the Golden Nugget singles tournament on the Gold Coast in 2012, is having a successful year winning three state titles and the Australian open fours in Melbourne.

``I'm stoked to keep my spot in the national squad,'' she said. ``It's always a nervous time leading up to squad announcements and hoping you've done enough.

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