Reigning world champion Darren Burnett hopes pressure-free approach will pay off at Potters
09:00 09 January 2015
Archant Norfolk © 2015
For some the experience of making a 488-mile trip from Scotland to the Norfolk coast would be a miserable one, writes Gavin Caney.
But that was certainly not the case for Arbroath-based bowler and community police officer Darren Burnett as he arrived in Hopton-on-Sea yesterday for the first time since his World Indoor Championships win at the venue last year.
The 38-year-old was back ahead of today’s opening matches of the 2015 event to speak to the press – something he’s had to get used to over the last 12 months.
Burnett, who lifted his maiden crown at Potters by beating Norfolk’s Mervyn King by two sets to one, said: “It’s been a great 12 months. Initially winning the world championships was a great start to the year and it just seemed to go on from there.
“I got a gold medal at Glasgow (Commonwealth Games) in the singles so it all seemed to go from strength to strength. My life’s changed quite a bit since then. The media attention around winning the world championships was quite high because I was a candidate to go to the Commonwealths.
“To go there and do well just continued throughout the year. I think everybody who got a gold at Glasgow, their lives have changed a wee bit. But it’s nice to be back at Potters. Driving here is always a special occasion.
“It’s the biggest event we have in the indoor calendar. It’s a special place for all of us and this is where you dream of playing bowls. To win the world championship here was a bigger dream. I’m really looking forward to trying and defend it.”
Burnett’s individual quest will begin on Monday January 19 when he takes on fellow Scot Andrew Barker in the first round. He’ll take to the World Rink before that though for pairs and mixed pairs action.
Yet even though he could be looking at picking up three separate pieces of silverware, the king of 2014 is not getting too carried away about the importance of trying to regain his singles crown.
“I’ve never been here as holder and I’m really quite relaxed about it to be honest,” added one of the favourites for glory during Potters’ 17th successive year of hosting the finest players on the planet.
Burnett will link up with Stewart Anderson for the pairs and Canadian Laura Hawryszko in the mixed pairs category.