Outrage as transgender athlete becomes first biological male to become world champion in a women's sport

Outrage as transgender athlete becomes first biological male to become world champion in a women's sport
Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 14/12/2023

- 10:42

Updated: 14/12/2023

- 15:33

Rivals have been left enraged

Enraged croquet players have been left feeling 'quite sick' after a transgender Australian became the women's world champion of the sport.

Jamie Gumbrell, 23, won the WOmen's Golf Croquet Championship in August.

However, since then, it has emerged Gumbrell is transgender.

The 23-year-old reportedly identified as a man up until 2019 and was able to play after the World Croquet Federation changed their rules two years ago.

Trans news Jamie Gumbrell

Trans news: Jamie Gumbrell has caused controversy by winning a croquet tournament and becoming world champion

Croquet England

That alteration permits competitors to nominate their own gender.

Rivals are unhappy, however, with the Telegraph saying some competitors were unaware they would compete against a biological male at the Sussex tournament.

Those same participants reportedly argue that Gumbrell had advantages in strength due to being born a man.

Sue Lightbody, who is a member of England's team at the World Championship, said: "There was a huge amount of disquiet.

"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."

She added: "A key shot in golf croquet is the jump shot."

"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."

Ian Burridge president of the WCF, has responded by saying: "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.


Jamie Gumbrell

Jamie Gumbrell pictured taking a croquet shot


"We welcome feedback, given the concerns that exist."

The publication says Gumbrell has won every tournament she has competed in since identifying as female.

The competitor beat England's Rachel Gee 7-2 in the final four months ago, with Gee reportedly left in tears after her defeat.

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