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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

World Indoor Bowls defeat was a relief - Billy Jackson

Billy Jackson
Jackson was top seed after winning the 2009 World Indoor Singles title

Defending champion Billy Jackson admitted feeling relief after his second round defeat at the World Indoor Singles bowls in Norfolk.

Jackson, from Lincoln, lost 7-7, 8-8, 2-1 to Canada's Hirendra Bhartu.

The defeat made him the first reigning champion to be beaten in his opening match at Potters Leisure.

"I feel a great sense of relief. It's very weird. It's like all the pressure of what I've done over the last year has gone," he told BBC Lincolnshire.

"I'm upset because I didn't play well but it's a weird feeling", he added.

Jackson had given himself a lifeline in the match when, trailing 8-4 going into the final end of the second set, he produced a stunning shot to disperse Bhartu's bowls and pick up four points to halve the set and force a tie-break.

We've now named it the Jaffa Orange tournament because it's becoming seedless

Billy Jackson

He admitted: "I thought: 'I'm out, it doesn't happen, you don't get a four'.

"I've been told the shot I played was the best that's ever been seen at Potters so I can take some consolation from that."

But despite taking a 1-0 lead in the tie-break Jackson, who was a beaten finalist in the pairs, became the sixth seeded player to be knocked out in the first two rounds of the tournament.

"We've now named it the Jaffa Orange tournament because it's becoming seedless", he quipped.

"Everyone will look at my defeat and the fact that Hirendra's Canadian but he's been on the circuit for 10 years or so and has probably as much experience as the rest of us.

"As for some of the youngsters who've come through from Wales and Scotland, they've been brilliant and deserved their wins."

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