Like a mountaineer who keeps climbing despite the fact he scaled Mount Everest long ago, Paul Foster does not believe anything can top the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow but he is sure that success in Gold Coast next year would still deliver its own degree of satisfaction.
Selected for his fourth successive Games, the Troon bowler already has three gold medals and, as the reigning World Indoor Champion, mentally and physically he feels he is in the right shape to add to that collection.
“To be selected again is just another dream come true. I still remember the Games in Glasgow like yesterday and nothing will probably emulate that, in front of your home crowd and getting two gold medals, but I’m really looking forward to the Gold Coast.
“If we go there and perform and bring our A-game then I don’t see why we can’t bring back gold medals.
“It certainly is a good time. Sometimes you go through certain stages when you think ‘I hope I’m not dipping in form’ or think ‘I’m not as good as you used to be’. But I’m very happy with my game just now, things are going really well. It is just a lot of hard work between now and April but I’ll certainly be ready for the Games.”
As well as cutting out the chocolate, crisps and alcohol over the past few months, the 44-year-old says he has been walking 15 miles three times a week in a bid to up the fitness levels and get himself in shape.
“I want to be as fit as I can at my age. When you feel good about yourself I feel that you play at the top of your game. I’m happy with how things are going just now. I’m looking to lose a bit more weight before April but yeah I’m happy with how things are going. And being selected for the Commonwealth Games is another added incentive.”
In Glasgow, Foster was part of the successful Fours team and also topped the podium with long-time Pairs partner Alex Marshall. The assumption is that, having also triumphed in the Pairs in Melbourne in 2006, they will reprise that double-act again in April, although Foster’s singles form may encourage the selectors to shake things up.
“In Glasgow you could play in two disciplines. We haven’t been told yet what we’re in but we’re all surmising what it’s going to be. If we’re in the pairs again we’ll be delighted because we kind of bounce off each other, we’ve had a lot of success together.
“I’ve already had a singles in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and I lost in a quarter-final so if I get another shot at it great.”
That was the only Games where Foster did not gain gold and he concedes there is an element of unfinished business in his own mind, although the presence of defending singles champion Darren Burnett in the team, along with Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver means that there are several options.
“Where my game is now then, obviously, if I’m given the opportunity I won’t say no. I feel within myself I’m good enough to go there and definitely medal. It’s all about confidence and that’s one thing I don’t lack. But I think there’s two or three of us in the running for the singles and whatever choice David Gourlay [the Team Scotland coach] makes we all stand by it. The first objective was always to get in the team.”