Chris Clarke in play during the final of the 2008 World Championship (Photo: Samir Patel)by Samir Patel
Chris Clarke won the 2008 WCF World Championship earlier today, beating Stephen Mulliner 3-1 in the best-of-five final at United Croquet Club Christchurch, New Zealand.
Opening exchanges, in front of a crowd that eventually numbered over 250, were well-balanced and the first two games were deservedly shared. However, Chris looked more confident in break play, particularly around hoops as the pace quickened, and hoops 5 and 6 (and penult) eventually proved to be Stephen's downfall in games 3 and 4, with Chris overcoming his own problems with 3-back to win the title for the second time.
James Death won the plate, beating Chris Patmore +26sxp -1tp +?? in the final.
David Hajn won the developing nations trophy.
80 players from 24 countries competed on 21 lawns at six croquet clubs in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Championship was decided by play in eight blocks of ten between the 2nd and 5th February. The top four players from each block qualified for the last 32-player knockout with losers entering the plate.
Chris, aged 36 was World Champion in 1995 and has won every major event in the sport. He is particularly proud of his doubles record, having won the Open Doubles eleven and a half times. In 2006, he held the doubles titles for Australia, New Zealand and GB, a feat never previously achieved. Chris has played in all the winning GB MacRobertson test teams since 1993, captaining the team in 1996.
Chris moved to New Zealand two years ago to begin a new life with Jenny Williams. The couple were married on 30th January this year - a date specifically selected so that their croquet friends could be present. Chris trades golf and American football and his interests include bridge, golf, real estate, cooking and spending time with Jenny and their golden labrador Amy.