Australian Sam Cooley has created history with his Gold Medal performance in the tenpin bowling men’s singles at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Cooley, originally from Mt Warrigal in New South Wales, defeated Jaroslav Lorenc in a classic gold medal match, two games to one.
Winning gold was something the 30-year-old couldn’t put into words.
“This event has a different feel to any other event that I have participated in, with purpose built facilities for each sport, the whole atmosphere it certainly has an Olympic feel to it,” he said.
“I realised that I was going to win half through game three,” Cooley explained. “In game one our ball reactions were similar. I shoot a big game on game two then in frame seven or eight of game three it hit me that I was going to win a gold medal and be the first Australian medallist of these World Games.”
Cooley also hopes his success at The World Games will help promote the sport of tenpin bowling back in Australia.
“We are seen as a part time activity and the sporting side is sometimes not even thought of, people don’t realise it is a sport, the exposure will also help bring bowling that little bit closer to olympic and commonwealth games recognition,” he said.
“Bowling is a sport people can compete in on the world stage and a sport where one size does not fit all, you can participate in the sport at all ages.”
It was Australia’s first medal since Cara Honeychurch and Andrew Frawley won a silver medal in the mixed doubles at the 1997 edition of the event in Finland.
Cooley also became the first Australian since Tenpin Bowling Australia Hall of Fame member Chris Batson, to win a medal in the men’s singles. Batson won bronze at the inaugural The World Games in California, United States.
This Gold Medal is now Australia’s highest finish in any singles event at The World Games.
Tenpin Bowling Australia CEO Rohan O’Neill said “We are absolutely thrilled for Sam! It was a mighty performance in the final. To come back from a game down and to bowl the way he did was incredible.
“This performance continues to highlight Australia’s talent on the world stage as we prepare to host the IBF World Cup and IBF Para Bowling World Cup later this year”.
For a full wrap of all the results and updates from Team Australian’s World Games campaign, visit our HUB