By James Reid at the Commonwealth Games
Amy Pharaoh believes there are plenty of positives to take from her Commonwealth Games return, despite opening with a 21-11 defeat to Malaysia’s Zalina Ahmad in the lawn bowls women’s singles.
2010 gold medallist Pharaoh has returned to the Games for the first time in 12 years after stepping back to have her son, Harry.
However, it was not a dream return for the Grimsby native, who knows the pressure is on if she is to make it out of the group stage.
“I’m disappointed but there’s some positives to take from that,” said Pharaoh.
“Lina bowled very well, there’s a few things that could have gone better but there’s a few positives and it’s a straight knockout now – I’ve got to win every game.”
Pharaoh, who teaches PE alongside bowling at an elite level, kept pace with her Malaysian counterpart in the early stages before Ahmad established a solid lead in the ninth end that she never relinquished.
With the sun beating down and crowds packed into Victoria Park, Pharaoh struggled to get her sights but is refusing to make any excuses.
“It’s a different environment, one we’re not used to,” admitted Pharaoh.
🥇 2010: Gold in Delhi
👶 2013: A new mum
👊 2022: Back with a bang @birminghamcg22?
📽️ 𝗔𝗺𝘆 𝗣𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗼𝗵 - our CWG Comeback Queen 👑
Watch ➡️ https://t.co/uw4jjSGNbI
Learn more ➡️ https://t.co/736utLlCKi#AllToPlayFor #PartOfThePride #PlayBowls pic.twitter.com/TWRCdtVmUm
— Bowls England (@BowlsEngland) July 11, 2022
“Even though we’ve been practising here, we’re certainly not used to all the stands up and the big screen and it takes a little while to settle into that.
“But that’s definitely not an excuse and tomorrow onwards and upwards hopefully.”
Pharaoh stepped away from the elite squad in 2013 and was not sure she would ever return to the Commonwealth Games.
But with the 2022 edition seeing the Games back on English soil since 2002 in Manchester, Pharaoh is relishing every moment of her return in front of those closest to her.
“It’s absolutely brilliant [to be back],” added Pharaoh. “It’s so good being out there.
“I know I lost but being out there, I felt this is good. I like being here, obviously I didn’t like the score but being on the green in front of friends, family was brilliant.
“They’re all supportive, sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air.
“Just seeing Harry now, I always say in sport there’s a winner and a loser and he just said, ‘that’s sport’ - actually it was quite nice to hear that.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.