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Nailed it! Australian lawn bowler overcomes nail in foot to win pairs gold


Australia’s Ellen Ryan overcame the pain of stepping on a nail to combine with Kristina Krstic to win a dramatic women’s pairs final against England, claiming her second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with a drive on the final bowl of the match.

Ryan won the women’s singles earlier in the competition but it was tinged with agony when she was being hoisted into the crowd in celebration.

Ellen Ryan (left) and Kristina Krstic after winning gold in the pairs.Credit:Getty

It didn’t faze her, though.

In a thrilling final, Ryan and Krstic overcame an 11-2 deficit to the England pairing of Sophie Tolchard and Amy Pharaoh to triumph 19-18.

“The crowd pulled me up and I stood on a nail [after the single’s final],” Ryan, 25, from the Cabramatta club in Sydney, said. “I thought, ‘What is that?!’ I looked down and there was a big nail in my foot and a plank of wood. I still have a little hole in my shoe. It drew a little bit of blood. Winning gold helps.”

Said Krstic, who comes from the Manning Memorial club in Western Australia: “On the first day of the pairs she said, ‘My foot’s really sore’.”

Ryan had the last laugh, nailing down the gold on the final bowl of the sudden-death end, driving to perfection to steal the victory.

Ellen Ryan is lifted into the stands after the pairs win.

Ellen Ryan is lifted into the stands after the pairs win.Credit:Getty

“She’s done it all tournament,” Krstic said. “She’s played those big ones when she’s needed to and backed me up. My stomach was churning but I had every faith she could get that last bowl. She had played two crackers just before, so I had every belief that she could do it.”

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