Aston Wade was crowned the Under 21 GC World Champion at Croquet Mount Maunganui on Sunday 12 February. Aston is the first English player to win the title. Aston progressed to the semifinal finishing second in his section and beating Christchurch players Myles Duggan and Levi Franks in the first two rounds of the knockout in straight games. In the semifinal Aston faced another New Zealand player in Te Kiri King from Hawera. Te Kiri won the first game 7:6 before Aston secured his place in the final by winning both the second and third game 7:6.
The other player in the final was Fawzy Helmy of Egypt who had only dropped one game the entire tournament, when he lost game 2 in the semifinal against Joel Steele, originally from Hawera but now living in the Hawkes Bay.
The final was played in difficult wet and windy conditions with cyclone Gabrielle making its arrival felt. Aston was clearly coping better with the difficult conditions and went two games up in the best of five final winning both games 7:4. Despite the challenging weather both players played some outstanding croquet. Fawzy bounced back in game three taking it 7:5. Game four went to hoop 13 with some outstanding clearance shots from Fawzy, in the end though the better tactical play of Aston earned him the title.
Both Te Kiri and Joel earned a bronze medal, with Te Kiri finishing third after beating Joel in three games 7:5, 2:7 and 7:5.
The Shield was won by Levi Franks from the Cashmere Club in Christchurch with his friend and fellow Cashmere player Josh Winter winning the Bowl.
The Plate saw another Cashmere player in the final with James Duggan playing Spaniard Iñigo Castañon de Churruca. The final went to three games with Iñigo beating James 7:4, 5:7 and 7:3 to win the Plate for Spain.
Congratulations to all the winners, and a big thank you to the Bay of Plenty Association, Croquet Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Croquet Club and to all the volunteers for hosting a wonderful event.
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