Bowler strikes gold at Games
By PAUL CHAMBERS
NOT many sporting people on the Coffs Coast can lay claim to winning a gold medal at one of the most prestigious global events on the sporting calender.
James McGinty can now do just that after returning from the recent Arafura Games in Darwin with a gold medal in tenpin bowling.
McGinty, who bowls at Coffs Harbour's Holiday Lanes, won his gold medal in the open doubles with a combined score of 1299, beating rivals from Macau, who scored 1284 points, into the silver medal position, with a second Australian team winning the bronze medal, a further 12 points adrift.
McGinty has been bowling for 10 years and is ranked 40th in Australia, but had never achieved such a prize before, claiming last year's open singles title in Coffs Harbour as his only previous competitive victory.
There is no qualification process to compete in the Arafura Games for Australia, basically if you are good at one of the sports included on the list, and you can afford to get to the event, you can compete.
The Games were held in Darwin last month and are a huge event comprising many sports and activities contested by a large contingent of international teams, including Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Brunei, India and Borneo.
"It's really amazing to be at such an event and experience what goes on," McGinty said.
"They have a proper opening and closing ceremony and when you win your medal they have a flag waving ceremony and the nation- al anthem plays while they give you your medal."
As well as tenpin bowling, there is a vast array of other sports in the games, including lawn bowls, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, swimming, table tennis, shooting, ar- chery, gymnastics and athletics.