Muscle up or go home is pretty much the message from the president of the World Croquet Federation Amir Ramsis Naguib.
That's because Naguib, who also is head honcho of the Egyptian Croquet Federation, should know as the Women's Golf Croquet World Championship entered day two of competition in Hawke's Bay today.
"Golf croquet is an aggressive game because if you're not then you just won't win," said the 68-year-old lawyer as six Egyptian female players names emerged from the eight blocks competed for at the headquarters of the Heretaunga Croquet Club in Hastings and the Marewa Croquet Club in Napier before the dust had settled late this afternoon.
Naguib said their women embraced a similar feral approach because it was something the globally dominant male players had instilled in them.
"We don't play a defensive system because we're always attacking our opponents," he said, adding at the end of the game there were no stalemates.
Naguib, who operates a travel agency in Cairo and a film company that his father, the late Ramsis Naguib, established as the biggest name in the industry in the Arab nations before his death four decades ago, said Hanan Rashad was the epitome of that in-your-face approach.
Rashad, who is undefeated in block C here, was crowned the 50-over world champion in October last year after beating a compatriot male, Yasser Fathy, 3-2 in the final at the Gezira Sporting Club in Cairo.
"It was the first time a woman, because it was a single open for men and women, won
Clarke had beaten Periham El Wi (Egypt) 7-2, 7-2, Anne Brooks (England) 7-2, 7-1 and Brenda Wild (Australia) 7-0, 7-4 in block A when Hawke's Bay Today went to press today.
Egyptian top qualifier Pauline Salib claimed that status in block B, beating Cheryl Bromley (US) 7-4, 7-6, Patricia Anderton (Pukekohe) 7-4, 7-5, Janine McHardy 6-7, 7-3, 7-3 and was playing Jane Pringle (England) in her last clash today.
The women's world No 4 is under the tutelage of her father, Mahib Salib, who still competes in Egypt.
Rashad, the female world No 6 in block C, joins compatriot Soha Mostafa, the women's world No 3, who is undefeated after four matches in block D.
Women's world No 11, Mervat El Shazly, of Egypt, has an unblemished record in block F and so world No 7 Sharpe after three clashes in block G although world No 10 Manal Khoudier, of Egypt, has emulated her feat.
Another Egyptian, Shadin Okasha, the women's world No 8, and world No 23 Jayne Stevens, of England, are setting a cracking pace in block H.
The top four players from each block will progress to the next round.
"It's my first time in New Zealand an I'm enjoying the beautiful country and I like it very much," said a grinning Naguib, adding may the best female player reign as the champion in the four-year championship.