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27 Year Old Tayla Bruce Wins World Championship Singles

New Zealand representative Tayla Bruce has continued her meteoric rise on the world stage, defeating the vastly experienced Australian campaigner Carla Krizanic to claim gold at the 2022 World Champion of Champion Singles in Wellington.

Hosted at the Naenae Bowling Club, the week-long event has thrown up some significant weather challenges and has proven unpredictable throughout, with play constantly being switched between the outdoor surfaces and indoor carpet to accommodate the hectic schedule.

Though, like any champion does, Bruce was able to adapt in quick fashion and remained up to the challenge put down in front of her - dropping only two games throughout the campaign.

Arguably the two pre-tournament favourites, rinkside spectators and those watching on the live stream around the world, were treated to a trans-tasman tussle to remember. Krizanic, who has recently announced her international retirement, showed exactly why she has played more than 200 games for the green and gold and bagged no less than four gold medals at both the World Bowls and Commonwealth Games events respectively, brushing aside most of her opposition enroute to the grand final on Friday morning - herself dropping only two games also.

Similarly, Bruce, who has recently returned home from England with two bronze commonwealth games medals, enjoyed a stellar run through section play, narrowly missing the automatic qualifying spot for the semi-finals berth. However, Bruce proved too strong for her play-off opponent Marea Modutlwa (Botswana), before staging an impressive tie-break win against USA stalwart Anne Nunes to book her spot in the final showdown, 3-9, 14-0, 5-0.

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With the sun finally out in force for the final, play got underway on the outdoor green, though a swirling breeze made for tricky conditions throughout. Trading shots equally for the most part, the game remained in the balance, with Bruce doing enough to claim the first set, 8-6.

A solid fightback from Krizanic made for a see-saw set in the second, though some clinical draw play from Bruce saw her claim an all-important three on the final end to secure the win and earn the title of “world champion”, claiming the second set, 10-9.

Speaking moments after the win, Bruce was taking a minute for reality to set in.

“It feels amazing. It’s not easy to make this event, just winning the nationals is hard enough in itself, so to make the most of the opportunity to be here is great - I’m just thrilled,” she said.

“It’s been a week of constant change. Every game felt like a new tournament, (with changing surfaces and competitors), so it was an unpredictable tournament in that sense - but I’m really proud of how I adapted and (again), making the most of the opportunity.”

Bruce now joins an illustrious list of former Kiwi women to have lifted this trophy, etching her name on the silverware alongside Jan Khan, Sandra Keith and two-time winner Jo Edwards.

© Scoop Media

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