Bowls: Greg's on top of the world!

PUBLISHED: 12:48 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

GREG Harlow is sitting on top of the world. The Ely bowler was officially announced as world number one on Thursday following a season which saw him win the International Open for the second successive time and finish runner-up in the World Championship s

GREG Harlow is sitting on top of the world.

The Ely bowler was officially announced as world number one on Thursday following a season which saw him win the International Open for the second successive time and finish runner-up in the World Championship singles.

"Obviously, I've been in the top 16 for the last 10 years and one of your ambitions is to be world number one, so finally to get there is tremendous," said Harlow.

"I've put in a lot of hard work and I think that's shown on the green."

Harlow was named provisional number one earlier in the season, following his defeat in the final of the World Championship to Fakenham's Mervyn King, but his position was confirmed when he finished in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open at Llanelli last month.

"I've had more consistency this season and I think that's been the secret," said the 37-year-old. "Previously, I've performed well in some events and gone out in the first round of others. But I've had no first round defeats this year and the consistency has been there."

Harlow denied that being world number one would give him the edge over opponents in the coming season. "Maybe in some local matches it will help, but I think the players on tour will probably step their games up and give themselves an extra psychological boost from playing the world number one.

"If anything, my ranking will make things harder for me."

Harlow said the had noticed no great changes in his life since assuming the premier ranking.. "There's been no endorsements and I don't think I'll be appearing on Celebrity Big Brother," he joked. "You do get recognised in Tesco's and people congratulate you and say they saw you on TV, but it doesn't go much higher than that.

"Bowls isn't really a high-profile enough sport for your life to change much."

Despite getting to the top of the mountain, Harlow has still set his sights high for the coming campaign. "I'd love to make it a hat-trick of International Open titles and go one further in the World Championship singles," he said.

"The competition will come thick and fast though - I think any of the bowlers in the top eight could be a threat. All I can aim for is another consistent year and I'll see where it leads.

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