FORMER Shoalhaven Heads lawn bowler Karen Murphy rates the 2018 Commonwealth Games as her favourite to date, despite not enjoying the individual success on the greens she had hoped for.
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Murphy, who has now attended five Commonwealth Games, started off the two week event by being given the honour of reading the athletes’ oath at the opening ceremony.
“When it was announced by Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti that I was going to read the oath, it was a real surprise and I was in total disbelief,” Murphy said.
The 43-year-old enjoyed this huge honour with Australian netball coach Lisa Alexander and athletics official Desmond Johnston.
“At the ceremony, I wasn’t nervous at all and I was riding the high of walking into the stadium with the Australian team – a feeling that you can’t explain,” she said.
“Once on stage, we couldn’t see the crowd and I tried not to look at anyone, because of the enormity of the situation.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”
Murphy rode this high onto the greens, where she won her four singles round games agianst Tonga’s Malia Kioa (21-4), Zambia’s Getrude Siame (21-3), South Africa’s Colleen Piketh (21-16) and Northern Ireland’s Catherine Beattie (21-17).
Murphy finished on top her group, setting up a quarter-final clash with Piketh.
“I played really well in the singles I thought and was happy how I performed, I was just beaten by a better player on the day in the quarter-final,” she said.
Murphy suffered a similar fate in the pairs with her team mate Kelsey Cottrell.
“Kelsey and I won all five of our group matches, to qualify for the finals on top,” she said.
“However, we suffered an agonising loss to a Scotland team, who probably played their best performance of the tournament against us.
“That’s the way it goes in sport sometimes.”
While not a success for Murphy herself, being the only one of the 17 person Jackaroos team to not medal, she was stoked how the squad performed on home soil.
“It was the team’s best ever return from a Commonwealth Games, which shows the strength of players we have at the moment in Australia,” she said.
“It’s a credit to our coaches – we couldn’t have asked for a better preparation.”
Murphy rated this games as her best to date, saying it was ‘logistically very good’ and the ‘whole experience was amazing’ – despite it being the first time she hasn’t medaled at a games.
Her next focus is the 2020 World Cup, with her also not ruling out a sixth Commonwealth Games in 2022.
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