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Sheppey's Commonwealth Games bowls hero Sandy Hazell has unfinished business

Sheppey-born bowls player Sandy Hazell
Sheppey-born bowls player Sandy Hazell

By Luke Cawdell

Sandy Hazell had a year to remember in 2010 after clinching a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Sheppey-born international, pictured, played her part in England’s most successful bowls performance at the games, which saw all but one of the team win a medal.

Despite being one of the older England players – at 45 – she still feels she has something to offer at the highest level.

“I’m definitely not retiring yet – there is still some life in me,” she said.

Hazell helped England to success in the triples, along with fellow Kent bowler Sian Gordon and Jamie-Lea Winch, but couldn’t help thinking what might have been.

England, who had won gold in the pre-tournament event, topped their group and faced South Africa in the semis – a team they had already beaten. But it was the South Africans who made it through to the final leaving Hazell and her team-mates to face home nation India.

“We had to pick ourselves up and play for the bronze and that was tough," admitted Hazell. "Winning the group had counted for nothing. To beat India was a relief as much as anything. After 18 months of hard work we had come away with a medal.”

As bowls is not an Olympic-recognised sport, Hazell will have to wait until the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 to try for gold.

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