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Lawn bowls heroes

David Bryant  England   David Bryant England
Perth 1962, Edinburgh 1970, Christchurch 1974, Edmonton, 1978

The greatest lawn bowler of all time hails from Somerset in the south of England. Four times winner of the Commonwealth singles titles, three world titles, six times English outdoor champion, nine times indoor - plus a whole host of doubles and triples titles. David Bryant really was a phenomenon in his sport.

Bryant studied bowls so extensively it was once said he could have lectured on the subject at degree level but it was his sportsmanship that he will be remembered for. Never afraid to applaud a good bowl by an opponent, some players found it intimidating - almost gamesmanship, especially when he often bettered it with his very next shot.

Bryant no longer competes at the big events but is still an active participant at club level in England.

Karen Murphy  Australia   Karen Murphy Australia
Kuala Lumpur 1998

Proving the point that lawn bowls is no longer just the domain of athletes in the twilight of life is Aussie Karen Murphy. The striking 27-year-old brunette packs out arenas wherever she plays and has possibly the largest following of anybody else in the sport.

Karen will be looking to improve on her 1998 silver medal in Manchester as the Australians look to snatch the medals from under the noses of the old enemy in their own backyard.

Rob Parella  Australia   Rob Parella Australia
Brisbane 1982, Auckland 1990, Victoria 1994

One of Australia's most prolific Commonwealth bowlers, a career spanning over three Games and bringing him a complete set of medals, bronze, silver and gold in the men's singles.

Rob was a long-term archrival of David Bryant and lists his greatest ever thrill in the game as the time he beat Bryant to reach the finals in the 1990 games. He's been bowling for over 30 years now and still insists that the only way to keep sharp is to practice competitively as often as possible.

Tony Allcock  England   Tony Allcock England
Victoria 1994, Kuala Lumpur 1998

Another of England's greatest ever bowlers will, this time, be in charge of the team that his country sends to the Games. Allcock, a silver medallist in 1994 has been named Performance Co-ordinator for Manchester 2002, which will mean a break in an England career that has also seen him scoop 13 indoor and outdoor world championships since 1976.

Every bowler who has ever beaten the smiling, curly-haired genius holds the scalp in high regard, knowing that they have defeated a true giant of the game. Now Allcock will be looking to use his guile to guide his English charges onto the podium at Heaton Park, Manchester.

Lesly Hartwell South Africa
Kuala Lumpur 1998

The Malaysian games turned out to be South Africa's best ever Lawn bowls showing. The African nation's women retained the gold they'd won four years previous and Lesly Hartwell stunned the home crowd by scooping the gold in the singles defeating local hero Saedah A. Rahim of Malaysia 25-14 in the final.

Hailing from Port Elizabeth, Hartwell clawed back a 3-11 deficit to win the medal in one of the greatest ever Commonwealth comebacks. Interviewed afterwards, the 49 year old simply said afterwards, "I'm known to come from behind".

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