Krstic’s fairytale finish at World Junior Championships
Australia’s Kristina Krstic etched her name into the sport’s history books yesterday, becoming the first person to obtain both international under-25 titles consecutively.
Krstic capped off a stellar World Junior Championships campaign at the Gold Coast’s Broadbeach Bowls Club last night after seven days of heated hostilities with a fairytale finish, earning the ultimate accolade in both disciplines on offer.
Despite a star-studded field of combatants from 13-nations, the 19 year-old Western Australian cut a swath through the sport’s only under-25 international tournament, first pairing with NSW’s Ben Twist to secure the mixed pairs title in an edge-of-your-seat blockbuster against traditional on-green rival New Zealand.
During a neck-and-neck encounter, Krstic and Twist found themselves in the thick of things in the dying moments of the decider against Kiwis’ Katelyn Inch and Sheldon Bagrie-Howley.
Leading by 3 shots, but 4 down with just his last bowl remaining, Twist became the hero of the nation after delivering a bomb to the dislodge head, reducing the deficit to 2 to secure victory by a slender 1 shot, 18-17.
Just a few hours later, Krstic had again saluted on the sport’s biggest stage for under-25 competitors, but at the expense of defending titleholder and fellow Australian Chloe Stewart.
Following Krstic’s comprehensive 21-1 win against Scotland’s Lesley Gordon in the semi-final eliminator, and Stewart’s 21-9 victory against Malaysia’s Auni Fathiah Kamis in the opposite side of the draw, the stage was set for a rematch of last year’s gold medal play-off.
Although this time the outcome panned out differently, after Krstic was overcome 17-21 just four short months ago, the young Sandgroper produced a contrasting result to get the better of the 19 year-old Victorian, who has been entrusted with the nation’s blue-ribbon singles honours at the 2015 Trans Tasman test series later this week, prevailing 21-16 to cement her spot in the sport’s archives as the first person to claim both the singles and mixed titles.
The last world title was won by Scotland’s Ryan Burnett, who prevailed again Malaysia’s Izzat Shameer Dzulkeple 21-5 in the men’s singles.
Bowls Australia congratulate Kristina Krstic and Ben Twist on becoming world junior champions, and their national teammates Chloe Stewart, Dylan Fisher, Renee McPharlin and Kelly Richards on their valiant efforts.
Bowls Australia would like to acknowledge the assistance and funding provided by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to Bowls Australia for athletes in the 2015 NextGEN AUSComGames Squad program (formerly known as ‘Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad’ program).
NextGEN AUSComGames was devised by the ACGA to provide assistance to junior players who have been identified as potential 2018 and/or 2022 Commonwealth Games level athletes; these players will be showcased at the 2015 World Junior Championships, 2015 Trans Tasman and 2015 World Cup.
2015 World Junior Championships final results;
MIXED PAIRS FINAL: K.KRSTIC & B.TWIST (AUS) def K.INCH & S.BAGRIE-HOWLEY (NZ) 18-17
WOMEN’S FINAL: K.KRSTIC (AUS) def C.STEWART (AUS) 21-16
MEN’S FINAL: R.BURNETT (SCO) def I.DZULKEPLE (MAL) 21-15