World beater Selby retires again

Leif Selby.
Leif Selby.


Warilla's world number one bowler Leif Selby has retired from international competition for a second time, just nine days after winning the World Championships singles title in Adelaide.

Yesterday Selby relinquished his position in the Australian Jackaroos squad at the peak of his powers.

He has had a stellar international career, including being the first person to have won all three world singles titles: the 2012 World Championships singles, the 2008 World Champion of Champions, and the 2009 and 2010 World Cup crowns.

Selby had also retired after the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

But after 18 months on the sidelines, he decided he wanted to pursue elite bowls again and focus on the worlds - which he did with outstanding success.

Now he wants to spend more quality time with his teenage daughter, Jasmine.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have been granted the chance to fulfil a dream," Selby said.

"Winning all three world singles titles and being given the chance to compete in a World Bowls Championship, that I myself had forfeited through my withdrawal from representative bowls following the Commonwealth Games in 2010, is an opportunity that I didn't think I would get.

"I am proud to have had the chance to compete with and be a part of the history-making performance from the Jackaroos in Adelaide.

"It's an achievement and memory that will never fade.

"Although I had a fantastic time with the Aussie team and support staff, Jasmine will always come first through my eyes and in my heart."

Selby's decision follows Australia's record-breaking medal haul at the 27-nation world championships, where he won gold in the singles and silver in the pairs.

He also helped secure the Leonard and Taylor trophies after the Jackaroos clinched five gold and two silver from eight disciplines.

The trophies go to the most successful male and female countries, and it was the same tournament in which fellow Illawarra bowler Karen Murphy won the singles and triples events.

During an illustrious career spanning more than seven years and 142 international games, Selby will go down in the record books as one of the sport's greatest players, with achievements including four world titles, a Commonwealth Games silver medal and three Australian Open trophies.

Selby will continue as bowls coach at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club and has not ruled out further state-based competition. It will remain up to him and Bowls NSW whether he continues to play state level, then on a case by case basis if he plays at national events.

Selby's position in the Jackaroos team will remain vacant until the national selection panel confirms the 2013 Australian squad in January.

This will come ahead of the nation's showpiece event, the Australian Open, from February 17 to 23.


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