Flamboyant Australian Aaron Wilson did his best Cristiano Ronaldo impression by tearing his shirt off after winning Commonwealth Games gold — in the genteel sport of lawn bowls.
Wilson’s victory over Canadian Ryan Bester triggered the sort of wild scenes normally seen at a football match as the 26-year-old — nicknamed “Discotheque” for his penchant for visiting nightclubs — peeled off to soak in the adulation of the home crowd.
Sporting his lucky undies, the only thing missing from Wilson’s topless celebration was Ronaldo’s shredded six-pack.
“This is for Australia,” said Wilson, who admitted he had got the idea from countryman Kelvin Kerkow’s bare-chested jig of joy after winning bowls gold at the 2006 Melbourne Games.
“Obviously I couldn’t help myself when it came down to the moment — chucked the shirt off, didn’t know where it went, but it was all in the groove.”
Wilson, who took up bowls at 11 years old, beat Bester 21-14 to become only the third Australian to Commonwealth singles gold — before running around shirtless with unbridled joy as the crowd erupted.
The Australian wants to inject more passion into lawn bowls, a quintessentially British pastime more associated with cups of tea and cucumber sandwiches.
“Something we’re trying to do is build the culture with Bowls Australia, and I think we’ve done that really well,” said Wilson, calling for an all-for-one musketeer approach to the game.
“Anyone wins, we celebrate. Anyone loses we grieve for them, we’re all one team.”
Wilson’s celebration was not the only one that could be filed under “over-exuberant” at the Commonwealth Games on Friday.
Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu celebrated her wrestling gold in the women’s 68-kilo freestyle wrestling by rolling around on the mat in joy as her beaten opponent Danielle Lappage looked on unamused.