Transgender Aussie first biological male to become a world champion

Transgender Australian becomes the first biological male to become a world champion in a women’s sport – and rivals are NOT happy

  • A transgender Australian is the women’s croquet world champion 
  • Jamie Gumbrell, 23, won the tournament in Sussex in August 
  • But her rivals are not happy that she participated 

Furious croquet players have been left feeling ‘quite sick’ after a transgender Australian became the women’s world champion.

Jamie Gumbrell, from Canberra, won the Women’s Golf Croquet Championship in August but it has since emerged that the 23-year-old, who identified as a man up until 2019, is a transgender competitor.

The World Croquet Federation changed its rules two years ago, permitting competititors to nominate their own gender.

But rival members have now spoken out against her, with The Telegraph reporting that some competitors were unaware they would compete against a biological male at the tournament in Sussex. 

They also argued that Gumbrell had advantages in strength because she was born a male. 

Croquet has been hit by a transgender row after Jamie Gumbrell won the women’s world title

‘There was a huge amount of disquiet,’ Sue Lightbody, a member of England’s team at the World Championship, told the same outlet.

‘But nobody was prepared to say or do anything. I was quite sick about the situation. We thought it would go against us, that we wouldn’t be picked for another team.

‘Everything was hush-hush, everyone was worried about being called transphobic.

‘People told me not to get involved, saying, “Don’t do anything, you’ll make yourself very unpopular.”

‘But this just shouldn’t happen. It fundamentally isn’t fair.’ 

Ian Burridge, president of the WCF, responded: ‘The fact that Jamie was assigned male at birth is not disputed by anyone. 

‘Jamie now identifies as female as her entry into the world championship was determined in accordance with our policy, approved by our members in April 2021.

‘We welcome feedback, given the concerns that exist.’

Since identifying as female, Gumbrell has won every tournament she has competed in, according to The Telegraph.

Gumbrell defeated Rachel Gee of England 7-2 in the final, with the original report claiming Gee was crying behind her sunglasses during the trophy presentation.

Gumbrell, 23, was born a biological male and her rivals argue she has an unfair advantage

Lightbody added that Gumbrell’s strength advantage was unfair on the rest of the competition. 

‘A key shot in golf croquet is the jump shot,’ she said. 

‘If you’re on the boundary, you can jump over a couple of balls and get through a hoop. I can only do mid-jumps, I can’t do one from the baseline.

‘But Jamie can. That is a huge advantage over a woman.’

Gumbrell first played croquet aged 15 after being introduced to the sport by her grandparents. 

‘They took Jamie to the Canberra Croquet Club where she has been a member since,’ reads her biography on the Golf Croquet Women’s world championship website. ‘Peter Freer mentored and taught her how to play.’

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