|1st World Singles Championships|
|Written by Dominic Gall / Keith Hale / Stuart Watson|
|Tuesday, 25 September 2012|
1st World Singles Championships
Limassol, Cyprus 2012
The Cyprus Bowling Federation welcomed 52 federations affiliated to the World Tenpin Bowling Association, to participate in the 1st World Singles Championships 2012 (WSC 2012).
The Championships took place at Galactica Bowling Centre in Limassol from 18th (arrival date) till 26th (departure date) of September 2012. The Cyprus Bowling Federation and Galactica Bowling Centre were delighted to have been your hosts in Limassol, Cyprus, for the 1st World SIngles Championships in 2012.
1st World Singles Championship Women Medallists - Kelly Kulick, Diana Zavjalova
Esther Cheah and Aseret Zetter
1st World Singles Championship Men Medallists - Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones
Osku Palermaa and Andres Gomez
I must admit I just wanted to use the tag line Battlestar Galactica but it is very apt in a lot of ways. It is true the participants will battle it out to be crowned The 1st World Singles champions and also true the real star of the show will be the 24-lane Galactica Luna Park & Bowling centre in Limassol. The 2 floor center (12 + 12 lanes) was built in 2007 and since then has hosted all the major events of the Cyprus Bowling Federation. It is also the venue of the Navigators Cup.
The centre is run by Galactica family the Theodorou's who's attention to detail and hospitality is legendary. Having been to many bowling centres all over the World Galactica is still the best centre I have ever been to. Not only is it a spotless and beautiful bowling centre it also serves the best food you can find anywhere and if that was not enough the Theodorou's also own and have on site an amazing Patisserie that does not just make mouthwatering cakes and deserts but could win awards for artistic presentation and taste.
The list of other reasons to visit Galactica is enormous, They have an Internet Cafe, Pool Room, Kids play area, Restaurant, Theme park, Gaming Arcade, Kids Arcade, Players changing rooms and showers and no dragging bowling balls up and down stairs as the centre has not one but two elevators.
One thing is for certain the visiting players will be well fed and looked after and probably wont want to leave but don't take my word for it, just click on any of the photo's to see the pop up pics and see for yourself.
Wednesday 19th September - The day got underway with the Official managers meeting. ETBF President Kim Thorsgaard Jensen opened the proceedings joined by the Championships Organizing committee including WTBA president Kevin Dornberger, WTBA Technical Delegate Pini Hershkovitz, Kegel's Gus Falgien, Cyprus Bowling Federation president Socrates Socratou and WTBA Cypriot delegate Marios Nicolaides.
The lane pattern was announced to be Kegel's WTBA Montreal pattern which is a 41 feet medium pattern. The Managers went on to learn slight changes in the schedule and how the Championships would be staged.
All on Parade
All present and correct at the Galactica Bowl in Limassol, Cyprus for the inaugural WTBA World Singles Championship, all rarin' to go under the leadership and control of Kim Thorsgaard Jensen, in my opinion the best tournament director worldwide. When Kim says jump, you don't hang about as you know that nothing but the firm rules will be applied from tournament start to finish.
After the days of preliminaries, competition gets underway Thursday morning as the sun rises over this idyllic Mediterranean island, the men bowling on one of the two twelve lane floors, the women on the other. Now, I hear you ask, who will be the ultimate champions and have their names on the virgin trophy? The Americans must be favourites of course, but there is plenty of talents in the field and Osku Palermaa, the two-handed delivery wizard, and Stuart Willams have tons of international experience and are sure to give Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones a run for their money and don't forgrt to never discount the Swedish men.
On the distaff side, who better than Shannon O'Keefe and the ubiquitous Kelly Kulick, both from the Uuited States? Once again there is talent from other regions with Esther Cheah from Malaysia and Sweden's Rebecka Larsen ready to put their feet down with a heavy hand As well as the Marcano sisters Alicia and Karen from Venezuela.
Just twelve games in two blocks of six to qualify for the second round of best of five games so keep an eye open for the leaders as you watch the impeccable web streaming.
Cyprus welcomes participating nations
The 1st World Singles was well and truly started in some style by the host nation Cyprus, Grigoris Grigoriou opened the proceedings by welcoming the visiting dignitaries and guests with a short speech and introduced the flags of the WTBA, ETBF, CTBF and Championships flag followed by the 42 participating countries consisting of 72 men and 57 ladies being lead down the royal blue carpet in front of a packed crowd by junior bowlers from the Limassol bowling academy. Further speeches were made by Socratis Socratous (Cyprus bowling federation president), Andreas Christou (Mayor of Limassol), Doros Antoniou (Mesa Geitonia) and the Cyprus Olympic committee president Ouranios Ioannides a presentation was made to two Cypriot Olympic medallists at the London 2012 games Pavlos Kontides and Karolina Pelentritou.
Next up we were treated to a fantastic piece of music performed by The Youth orchestra from the Papadakio Municipal Music school. After which a dancing troup Neoi Orizontes performed a traditional Cypriot dance. A further speech by ETBF president Addie Ophelders just left WTBA president Kevin Dornberger to declare the 1st World Singles Championships open and players oaths were heard from Cypriot international participant Niki Schiza and Stella Manousou. The visiting dignitaries, players and guests were all then invited to enjoy ceremony banquet.
Day 1 of Qualification - Thursday, 20th September 2012
Russia and Egypt Set The Pace
Block 1 Squad 1The beginning has begun - no, sorry, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Nevertheless let's stick with it and switch to congratulating Alena Korobkova of Russia for topping the ladies' scores in Squad 1 with 1370, the best of the squad, men or women, and one floor down in the Galactica Bowl, Mahmoud Mazloum of Egypt led the men, back on 1349.
Mazloum surprised everyone, not by being the squad leader, but with using a urethane ball for his six-game stint. Coach Mario Joseph, who was the Eguptian coach for a couple of years, told us: "Mahmoud and I worked on his release at a local bowling centre in Limassol before the championship. He decided to use a urethane bowling ball and it looked to be the right choice."
Mazloum has the rare distinction of living close to those famous pyramids in Egypt and can see them from his bedroom window.Alena Korobkova, a student working on biology and English, commented: "I was happy with the way I bowled, I used the Storm Passion and it worked well for me."
She started her happy day with a 278 and must have thought she was in heaven, but the pins were not so kind to her until the sixth and final game where she hit a solid 266 to even outscore the men.
Overall, the scores from both fields were disappointing, the 'Montreal' lane pattern not quite seeming to gel with the Galactica lanes which, incidentally, have been proved to be some of the most level in Europe through the recent Kegel lane mapping, the topography excellent, so easing the tasks for the players moving pair to pair.
Tommy Jones Takes Over
Block 1 Squad 2Esther Cheah of Malaysia has spoiled Russian hopes of a 1-2 in the women's division after squad 2, posting 1295 over her six gamesbut that is 75 pins short of the 1370 set by Alena Korobkova in this morning's opener." I thought the lanes today were much the same as in practice yesterday so I was confident I would do ok". "I used a mix of Track and Storm balls."
Cheah, daughter of esteemed Malaysian coach Holloway Cheah, had a high game of 266 and that came in her final game. Russia's Evygeniya Smirnova is so far the only woman to bowl all six games over 200 but her 1290 slotted her into third place.
For the men, Mahmoud Mazloum's 1349 rolled this morning to lead squad 1 has been well overshadowed by American Tommy Jones who hit 1511, over a 250 average, with a high game of 279, the high game of the day.
Martin Paulsson of Sweden slotted neatly into second place with 1395 to demote the Egyptian into third. I did not watch the earlier squad and decided to throw hard and fast at first before moving later in the squad," said Tommy Jones (website listed as Thomas). "The firsr six games were really hard. I switched balls a lot so and am really pleased with my final three games. I have some time off now to relax and see a little of Cyprus."
So the first day's play draws to an end and it has been exciting on one side and a little disappointing on the other. We expected better scoring overall, especially from tournament favourite Chris Barnes of the United States, but his fellow countryman made up for that. Overall, the women seem to have got to grips with the lane condition quicker than the men so tomorrow we will see if the lessons have been leared by those waiting in the wings.
The men bowled in groups of three to a pair of lanes, the women just two to a pair so the girls finish quicker than their male counterparts. Today's contestants return to the lanes for their second six-game block on Saturday.
Day 2 of Qualification - Friday, 21st September 2012
Kelly Kulick and Stuart Williams Shine in Squad 3
Block 1 Squad 3
Of course, all Kulick's six games exceeded 200 but the next four were not up to her expectations, but a final 238 brought her the place she wanted, top of the leader board with 1373, but that was only three pins better than the 1370 posted yesterday by Russia's Alena Korobkova.
In a post-squad interview with Andy James, Kelly Kulick stated: "So far so good. It was a relief as you never know what you are going to be facing. Really, I feel that I bowled much better than I scored and I could have done with maybe 20 to 50 pins more. I didn't hit the pocket as much as I thought I would and executing and carrying was a lottery. There were a few pairs (of lanes) that were a little tighter and some hooked more than the others. I got out of the gate strong with a 279 and that made my swing much looser but later on I was striving to shoot some big numbers and I wish I could have carried a few more 10-pins.
"For my next squad I think I will play with balls with a little more surface, especially as the end pairs seem to play a lot more different than the middle pairs. I need to make ball changes sooner than I did this morning but it's just going to be between three balls. It will be adjustments to my hand and my ball speed more than anything."
Kulick was chased by lithe Dutchwoman Wendy Kok, daughter of famous Dutch international Eric Kok. She held second place on the squad but a final 170 after five 200-plus games dropped her down to seventh place in the overall standings.
"It is unbelieveable the way Tommy Jones bowled yesterday, he's a great player and hopefully one day we can aspire to be at his level. Tommy has put a number up there and I don't think anyone is going to get close to it. Maybe Osku (Palermaa) will get a good cross in the next squad."
So, for the girls, it is United States, Russia and Malaysia, representing each WTBA zone and the men have United States, Sweden and Egypt fighting for the honours.
Latvia and Finland Share Squad 4 GloryBlock 1 Squad4
The men have completed their day's work but the girls have one more squad to complete their schedule. They were first to finish squad 4, having the luxury of bowling two to a pair of lanes, whilst the men are playing three to a pair.The penultimate ladies' squad saw Diana Zavjalova of Lativa leading from start to finish, rolling 1310 for her first six games which brings her neatly into third place in the overall standings. It was consistent bowling with the first five games over 200 and then a drop to 192 for the sixth. She could have taken over the lead if she had the miracle of a 254 in her final game.
Andy James had the pleasure of the post match interview with Diana Zavjalova, who commented: "It went pretty good for me today. It all seemed fairly easy in the practice session and today and I liked it a lot. Today I tried to use the same shot. I watched the women bowling the previous squad and tried to learn from them but I decided to bowl the same way as in official practice. Today it all depended on who I was following but there wasn't too much difference from pair to pair.
"I'm looking forward to the next squad but really I want to bowl right now. I was using only one bowling ball this squad but for the next squad I will change the surface of one of the others and see if I can score higher. I haven't seen much of Cyprus yet, but I like the beach."
Zavjalova is a veteran of the European Bowling Tour but has tremendously grown in stature in the international bowling world from her vast expeience in the American collegiate bowling programme whilst studying in the United States, if my memory serves me well at Webber University.
From a personal point of view, I really thought that Cherie Tan of Singapore would be a strong threat to the leaders but her 1216 leaves her currently in 14th place.
Palermaa is always a difficult guy to interview, as are most Finns, so Dominic Gall had the task of gleaning some information. "I thought there were a lot of revs on the squad, so I decided to go straighter," he commented. "I shot up the second arrow and sometimes further right than that. The last game I moved in and the ball worked fine. I had a couple of bad shots though, moving a little bit too early and left the 'bucket' (2-4-5-8 pins) and then moved too far to the right and left the 4-6. I used the Storm Prodigy ball for the first games and then changed to the Outlaw to finish."
Shannon O'Keefe, the nearly girl
Block 1 Squad 5 Ladies onlyWhen it came down to the nitty gritty for American Shannon O'Keefe to play a good sixth game to take over the lead from compatriot Kelly Kulick, rapid maths determined that she needed a 211 at least for a place at the top of the leader board However, the pins decided on a sit down strike and refused to leap into the pit at the sight of her bowling ball. Come the tenth frame she needed a double and eight but that was not to be, so she finished with an even 200 for 1363 and third place in the final standings of round one.
Rebecka Larsen from Sweden established an early lead but O'Keefe took over from game three and never looked back. Larsen did look as though she would complete her six games with 200-plus scores but a 176 in game five let her slip down the order so her finishing total of 1298 saw her still in the vital top eight in fifth place.
In ther later interview with Andy James, Shannon O'Keefe stated: "I know I left a lot out there," she said. "So many 10-pins, but it is OK, I'll take it. I was about ten pins short of beating Kelly but as long as we are up near the top so we don't meet each other in the final rounds, that would be ideal. After we got off to a good start that is something realistic we can shoot for.
"When I started this afternoon I just wanted to keep the ball in play and make good shots, get comfortable. Once I did get comfortable and got good reaction I got into cruise control for a while. The lanes held up pretty well and it seemed like my squad had a lot more surface at the start than Kelly's squad so it gave me a lot more room to the right than Kelly had. I was able to get a little bit further than her and a little bit quicker."
All players have now completed their first six games so round two commences Saturday morning with the final six=game qualifying block. Thereafter, the top 24 men and 24 women will progress to the best of five games sessions with the top eight qualifiers having a bye into the second round.
Day 3 of Qualification - Saturday, 22nd September 2012
Paulsson is Mr consistant as Zetter flies into the lead
Block 2 Squad 1Some fair tussles for the third day's play, opening with squad 1 of Round 2. In the men's division it was a battle between previous leader Tommy Jones of the United States and Kuwait's Mohammed Kamel. Jones rolled a 250 average for 1511 over his first six games but he turned up today leaving his A and B games back in South Carolina and his C game was a truly disappointing show, scoring only 1247. Kamel gradually wore him down and was sitting pretty after five games but then along came Martin Paulsson of Sweden to spoil the party and take squad honours and finish just one pin behind the American in the overall standings with 2757.
So after the first of four squads it is United States, Sweden and Kuwait in the top three and a figure of 2495 as the eighth place cut, but that will rise as the squads take to the lanes.
Always a good guy to interview, Paulsson told Dominic Gall: "It was a struggle today in the first game but after that it was OK. Most of the players seem to have been bowling over the second arrow but I played a little deeper, around 13-14. I had problems onlanes 5/6 today. I could strike each time on lane 5 but nothing on lane 6 so I had to be content with a 199 there. I hope my scores are good enought to stay in the top eight. One thing is that I don't want to have to face my team-mate Dennis Eklund in the best of five games Well, not until the final."
Upstairs, on the ladies' lanes, it was Mexico versus Malaysia, opposite sides of this earth, as Aseret Zetter faced a strong challenge from Jacqueline Sijore for squad honours and in a squeaker it was Mexico's advantage and Zetter now sits at the top of the leader board with 2558, a 36 pin buffer over Sijore.
"I felt relaxed and comfortable on the lanes today," said Zetter in her interview with Andy James. "I just did my thing, like see the reaction of the other players and concentrate on taking the right decisions to make the top eight."
However, tournament leader Kelly Kulick, who has yet to bowl her second six-game block, only has to hit 1186 to maintain pole position subject, of course, to challenges from other competitors. On what seemed to be a trickier lane condition today, none of the girls managed to shoot six 200-plus games, Zetter faring best with the first five before dopping to a 189 in the sixth. For the men, only Thomas Gross of Austria managed a clean six games with 200-plus scores.
Russia and America Still Hold Pole
Block 2 Squad 2Alena Korobkova of Russia came out with all guns firing for her second six-game block, the broadside giving her a brace of 245s as openers and retained her position at the top of the leader board. Her 224 overall average brought her a total pinfall of 2691 which is currently 68 pins better than second placed Clara Guerrero of Colombia, but now a resident of Austin, Texas.
Guerrero, the 2010 World Bowling Writers' world bowler of the year and inductee into the WBW Hall of Fame, topped the squad scores with an outstanding 1390, including a high game of 258, her highest game of the championship so far.
Denmark's Britt Brondsted had a good final six to place third, but a little back on 2583, so looks to hold a spot in the prestigious top eight although there are still more squads to bowl.
Previous leader Aseret Zetter of Mexico has been eclipsed and now drops to fourth place (2558)and Ukraine's Daria Kovalova (2555) had her usual roller-coaster ride and has slotted into fifth place in the overall standings.
All eyes were focused on Chris Barnes of the United States as he set out to challenge partner Tommy Jones' tournament leading position and had the crowd well excited when he shot the first ten strikes and then left the 4-7 spare in the fourth game for a 288, 1016 over the first four games. He completed his six-game stint and amassed a 12-game score of 2720 which sees him neatly in third place in the overall standings, although leader of this squad. His hopes of beating his team-mate went to the winds but he is happy enough to be in the top eight after what he calls a disastrous start with his first six games.
To pick out a few important points from an extended interview with Dominic Gall, Barnes said: "This was a huge improvement over my first squad. The one consistent thing is that in the morning on the first squad the scores are lower than they have been in the afternoon. I certainly had more hook today than I did two days ago. The lanes weren't hard but it was difficult to get lined up. The changes from pair to pair needed small adjustments but there were a lot of guys playing to the right. Every ball that goes down the lane makes it harder or makes it easier and we had a lot more surface down the second arrow which made the transition so much better."
With two more squads to bowl tomorrow it is America, Sweden and America in the top three places, but Osku Palermaa and Martin Paulsson, both previously in the top three, have yet to bowl and they were both averaging 234.
Despite severall near misses at perfect games, the high remains at 290, bowled by Mohammed Kamel of Kuwait in his third game of his second block.
Day 4 of Qualification - Sunday, 23rd September 2012
Into the final qualifying day
Block 2 Squad 3Now we enter the final day of qualifying with two squads for the men and three for the women to complete the final blocks of six games to bring their total pinfall to twelve. This is a strange format, the schedule calling for six games then a day off before the next six games, so hardly a pressure situation. Maybe this is because the entry was far less than anticipated when the event was planned. The delegates at the WTBA Congress were all for it, but just 45 have supported the venture, nine nations from Asia, six from the Americas and 30 from Europe.Then, of course, the competition from the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Poland which is only a few weeks away. Maybe add to that the unsettled situation in African nations nearby, which might cause a little concern.The stars of the likes of Korea, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Australia are certainly missed.
However, those that have competed have thoroughly enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of Cyprus, especially the great championship organization of the Cyprus Bowling Federation and the superb Galactica bowling center.
The penultimate squad for the men produced higher scores than the previous early battles and the highlight of that was a 299 from Thomas Larsen of Denmark, leaving a stubborn 7-pin with his final ball. Malaysia's Syafiq Ridhwan ruled the roost, now perched in first place in the overall standings with just one squad to bowl. He had a ding-dong battle with England's Mat Miller through the last six games but emerged the victor on the squad and the championship with just one more squad to bowl.
"I felt very comfortable with the lanes and made the right decisions," Ridhwan told Dominic Gall. "I used the right balls and made the right adjustments. I didn't find the lanes any different than the previous squad. I played the same lines, the same speed, the same balls. I started out playing stright down the second arrow and after that moved a little to the left, that's all. I am very happy with the pin carry and my scores."
It is now 2691 to beat for the men to get into the top eight, a 234 average. Mohammed Kamel of Kuwait will be biting his fingernails to see if he can remain in that spot as the final men's squad takes to the lanes.For the girls, Diana Zavjalova of Latvia's domination of the rounds has been eclipsed by the talented Swede Joline Persson-Planfors, winning the squad to total 2578 for fourth plaver in the standings and demoting the Latvian to second place on the squad and sixth overall.
The current cut for that coveted eighth place is 2522 for the girls, at the moment a spot held by Malaysis'a Jacqueline Sijore. The reason those eight places being coveted is that they get a bye in the first round of the best of five game matchplay.
The men now take to the lanes for their final qualifying squad but the girls have two more squads to bowl.
Fighting for the Top Places
Block 2 Squad 4Penultimate squad for the women, last call for the men so the top 24 in the men's division can be settled.
The top eight men have the luxury of a bye for the first round, the remaining 16 play the best of five games, head to head, high seed against the low and that means position number 9 will play position 24.
The leading octet come into play in the second round, again best of five games, and seed 1 plays whoever is the low seed after the first round. That format continues for 16, and 8 players. The leading four then advance to the stepladder final, contested over one game matches.
Karen Marcano of Venezuela was the shining star of the women's second squad of the day, rolling 1371 over her final six qualifying games to slot into fourth place in the overall standings, surely safe for a place in the top eight.
"I changed my bowling balls a little for this squad," Marcano told Andy James, "but I played the same angles as my first block and stayed there for the rest of the games. I hope to stay in the top eight but I have to see what happens in the last squad."
Shannon O'Keefe of the United States looked to be a threat to the tournament leasder but a drop to a 175 in her fifth game brought her down the pecking order and she currently sits in third place.
Much anticipation now as to what sort of performance will come from the talented Kelly Kulick of the United States in the final squad. She is sitting pretty on 1373 after her first six games and Wendy Kok of the Netherlands looks to be another probable to get into the leading octet.In the men's final squad the honour of leading the squad was a nip-and-tuck affair between Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland, a talented leftie who is well-known for reviving the Brunswick Ballmaster Tournament in Helsinki, and Stuart (Beef Stu) Williams of England. It was Williams who got the ege in the final game.
"I needed three strikes in the tenth frame to make the top eight," he told Dominic Gall. "I left the 7-pin with the first ball. If it had been the third shot it would have been really frustrating whereas now it is just mildly irritating. It would have been nice to make the cut to eight. Anyway, by getting into the top four matches tomorrow I get to lie in. If you win this tournament you're going to need a lot of luck in the (best of five) matches, so I just have to get lucky."
So all positions in the men's division are now settled and 24 remain in the championships, the rest to enjoy the myriad attractions of this idyllic Mediterranean island.
Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia (2773) top the octet with Tommy Jones in second place (2758) Third comes Sweden's Martin Paulsson (2757) and fourth Mat Miller of England (2735). Chris Barnes is the second American in the group, in fifth place (2720) and Osku Palermaa of Finland sixth (2711). Mak Cheuk Yin from Hong Kong holds seventh (2710) and last, but not least, Mohammed Kamel of Kuwait takes the final top place in eighth with 2691.
As aforementioned this group take a bye in the first round of the best of five game matches.
The cut for 24th place came at 2516, a 209 average, for Falah Yusuf of Bahrain, which must have pleased his coach Tim Mack.
The Kelly Kulick Masterclassl
BLock 2 Squad 5What a fantastic display from Kelly Kulick of the United States through the final six qualifying games. She opened her account with 217, 247 and 255 for 719 and then followed that with 255, 267 and 225 (747) for an overall 12-game total of 2852 and that, dear folk, is 79 pins better than the leading men's score of 2773 set by Malaysia's Syafiq Ridhwan.
Mind you, Sue Abela of Malta, the 'Queen of the Mediterranean', matched Kulick's opening three games by rolling 734 to take a temporary squad lead but couldn't keep up with Kulick's strikefest. She finished with 2583 and that put her in eighth place in the final qualifying standings and have that advantage of a bye in the first round of tomorrow's best of five game matches.
So that prestigious octet consists of Kelly Kulick, United States 2852; Alena Korbokova, Russia 2691; Rebecka Larsen, Jr., Sweden 2689; Shannon O'Keefe, United States 2657; Karen Marcano, Venezuela 2651; Clara Guerrero, Colombia 2623; Britt Brondsted, Denmark and Sue Abela, Malta tied on 2583.
The cut for 24th place, the lowest score to continue in the championship, was 2435, happily going to Cyprus' own Myria Kastori. Out of competition in 25th place, perhaps the worst place to finish, was Finland's Piritta (Kantola) Maja, a coach at Finland's national centre.
The women's best of five games round commences Monday morning and runs through to the televised finals on Tuesday evening. Homeward bound for the troops on Wednesday.
Day 5 Best of Five Finals Steps - 24th September 2012
Round 1 Thrills A'Plenty in Exciting Finals
"The most exciting games in my bowling career so far," commented Zulkifli after his match. "When I shot that 299 in the first game, I knew that Kimmo was going to come back at me. He is a fighter, he will never back down. You could bowl two 300s at him and he would still come back fighting."
Just two of the men's matches were settled in three games, Stuart Williams of England quickly taking out Michael Holzapfel of Germany and Denmark's Thomas Larsen enjoyed a speedy defeat over Mahmoud Mazloum of Egypt.
An all-Belgian confrontation saw Oliver Leroy beat his fellow countryman Mats Maggi, 3-1, and the same score applied to Khaled Al Dossari of Qatar and Kuwait's Jassim Abbas, the Qatari going through. Also, Andres Gomez of Colombia got through 3-1 over Falah Yusuf of Bahrain.
To whet your appetite, round 2 will see: Jones v Larsen; Mak Chek Yin v Williams; Palermaa v Leroy; Gross v Paulsson; Al Dossari v Miller; Barnes v Zulmazran; Gomez v Kamel and Torgersen v Ridhwan.
If you thought the men's round was thrilling, the girls did well, too.
Three matches opened with 3-0 wins: Joline Persson-Planefors of Sweden despatched local heroine Myria Kastori; Malaysia's Esther Cheah ousted Hannah Cullen of Ireland and a significant win for Catherine Rioux of Canada over Malaysia's Jacqueline Sijore.
A couple of 3-1 wins with Finnish star Krista Pollanen advancing over Sarit Mizrachi of Israel and disappointment for Ukraine's young star Daria Kovalova as she was beaten by Luminita Farkas of Romania.
Fingernail biting for the two remaining matches going 3-2 and Diana Zavjalova of Latvia heads into the second round after a tussle with Singaporean Daphne Tan and Daphne's sister Cherie Tan also departs from the fray at the talented hands of Dutch girl Wendy Kok.
The girls' line-up for round 2: Kulick v Kok; Planefors v Abela; Marcano v Cheah; O'Keefe v Rioux; Larsen v Zavjalova; Farkas v Guerrero; Brondsted v Zetter and Korobkova v Pollanen.
Oh What Bowling, Oh What a Show!
Yippee! There will be dancing in the streets across the United States tonight as all four Americans have made it through to the quarterfinals: Jones beating Larsen; Barnes defeating Zulmazran; Kulick taking out Kok and O'Keefe ousting Rioux.
But maybe one of the best matches in many years was that between Chris Barnes and Malaysia's Zulmazran Zulkifli. It went the full five game distance and was truly a masterclass of tenpin bowling, the scores just incredible. 279-244 for the first game, advantage Zulkifli, the Barnes came back to equal the games, 228-207. The Malaysian went ahead again in the third, 278-258, and Barnes made it a five-gamer, 277-256. Blood, sweat and tears for both in the final ten frames and once again Zulmazran missed a 10-pin at a vital moment, leaving the way for Barnes to win through, 259-236. Total pinfall? Barnes 1266, Zulmazran 1256. "That scoring was incredible, I could hardly believe what I was seeing," said ebullient Tim Mack in commentary.
England's Stuart Wiklliams got through in three games against Hong Kong's Mak Cheuk Yin and so did Osku Palermaa of Finland in his brief encounter with Oliver Leroy of Belgium and likewise for Andres Gomez of Colombia versus Mohammed Kamel of Kuwait. In the earlier squad, American Tommy Jones enjoyed a quickie 3-0 defeat of Denmark's Thomas Larsen and Khaled Al Dossari of Qatar gave a similar fate to England's Mat Miller.
Two other classic finals were Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia going the full five to take out Norway's Tore Torgersen and the same for Martin Paulsson of Sweden, defeating Austria's Thomas Gross. A trio of Thomas's in this round.
So for their final two games, Barnes and Zulkifli held centre stage.
Now it is an interesting line-up for tomorrow's quarterfinals: Syafiq Ridhwan (MAS) v Andres Gomez (COL); Chris Barnes (USA) v Khaled Al Dossari (QAT); Martin Paulsson (SWE) v Osku Palermaa (FIN) and Stuart Williams (ENG) v Tommy Jones (USA).
Plenty of action, too, upstairs on the women's lanes and a quick 3-0 vicotry for America's Kelly Kulick over Wendy Kok of the Netherlands. Just one other match was 3-0 and that Aseret Zetter of Mexico having a surpiise quickie over Britt Brondsted from Denmark.
Next a trio of 3-1 wins with victories for Esther Cheah of Malsyia beating Venezuela's Karen Marcano; Diana Zavjalova of Latvie continuing on her merry way with a win over Sweden's Rebecka Larsen Jr and Hall of Famer Clara Guerrero remaining in the hunt by defeating Luminita Farkas of Romania.
3-2 wins for Joline Persson-Planefors of Sweden over Malta's Sue Abela; American Shannon O'Keefe versus Catherine Rioux of Canada and the indominatable Krista Pollanen of Finland winning through against previous tournament leader, Alena Korbokova of Russia.
Therefore the line-up for the distaff quarterfinal sees Kelly Kulick (USA) v Joline Persson-Planefors (SWE); Esther Cheah (MAS) v Shannon O'Keefe (USA); Diana Zavjalova (LAT) v Clara Guerrero (COL) and Aseret Zetter (MEX) v Krista Pollanen (FIN).
An interesting point is that Kulick and O'Keefe win their quarterfinal matches they will meet in the semi-finals. In the mens division, the final could be Barnes versus Jones.
Quarterfinal Stars and Strikes
In case you're asking that vital question about how many Americans have prgressed to the semi-finals, the answer is only three as Shannon O'Keefe was defeated 3-2 by Malaysia's Esther Cheah, daughter of esteemed Malaysian coach Holloway Cheah.
"Yet again, we're seeing awesome matches," said web stream commentator Dominic Gall, and he was certainly right (for a change).
Of course, American Kelly Kulick, my pick for woman of the championship, enjoyed her usual strikefest with a 300 (the only perfecto in the championship so far) in her third game in the tussle against Swede Joline Persson-Planefors, an encounter which the Swede took to five games, Kulick emerging the victor, 3-2.
All four women's quarterfinal matches went the full five-game distance. Clara Guerrero of Colombia, although now married and living in Austin, Texas, was edged by Latvia's Diana Zavjalova, settled in the final frames, and Mexican Aserat Zetter got the better of Krista Pollanen of Finland.
So the line-up for the one-game women's semi-finals is Kelly Kulick (USA) v Esther Cheah (MAS) and Diana Zavjalova (LAT) v Aseret Zetter (MEX).
Two of the men's battles were very surprisingly settled in three games. Flying Finn Osku Palermaa defeated fellow Scandinavian Martin Paulsson of Sweden and Chris Barnes sailed past Qatar's Khaled Al Dossari for an easier victory than he experienced last night when Malaysia's Zulmazran Zulkifli took him to five games. Zulkifli is my man of the championship for his talent and tenacity.
It was 3-1 for Andres Gomez of Colombia to knock out Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia and the match of the day was a slow motion five games between England's Stuart Williams and Tommy Jones of the United States. That provided thrills and spills through five games and the two PBA players showed talent beyond the call of duty, Jones coming througn by a squeaker in the last two frames of game five.
Just one-game matches now in front of the TV cameras, a show that will be taped and screened world-wide on Eurosport and its subsidiaries. For your delight it will be Tommy Jones (USA) v Osku Palermaa (FIN) and Chris Barnes (USA) v Andres Gomez (COL).
Should be all over in about 20 minutes so may the best players win. It could be an all-American final for the men, but Kulick playing who in the women's finale.
Nobody seems to like the one-game format for the final but the best of five game semi and final would not fit into the TV schedule.
Womens Final - Kulick Reigns Supreme
"There is an air of inevitability of what the final outcome will be...." stated Stuart Williams as co-commentator in the ladies' final, but even he couldn't foresee what a fantastic one-game final it would turn out to be.
Diana Zavjalova was the underdog as Kelly Kulick had dominated each and every round of the event and looked to just cruise through the final. She started with three strikes and built a ten pin lead in the third frame. Then Zavjalova switched gears and came back with three strikes and made it a one point difference in the fourth frame, the American ahead 99-98. That one pin difference stayed with them through the seventh frame, then the Latvian forged ahead with a double in the eighth and ninth frames to have an eight pin advantage going into the tenth frame. A nine-spare and strike in the tenth frame gaveKulick a target of 226, meaning she need a double and nine to win. She got the double and then another strike to eclipse the Latvian's score, 228-226.
A fantastic final from a nail-biting finish. Kulick won her place in the final by defeating Malaysia's Esther Cheah in a close encounter in the semi-final, winning through 212-207, and Zavjalova advanced from a 237-212win over Mexico's Aseret Zetter.
So a gold medal for Kulick, silver for Zavjalova and bronze for semi-final losers Cheah and Zetter. Next up the men's final. Can that be as exciting?
Mens Final - It's That Chris Barnes Man Again Forecasts of an all-American men's final ran true to form and the crowd pleaser was Tommy Jones versus Chris Barnes.
Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, so who do you favour?
Well, opinions seemed pretty even for the pair but the pendulum swung quickly into Barnes' camp as Jones started with a 6-split miss and followed that with a 6-washout spare whilst Barnes neatly slotted in a strike and 9-spare. Both followed with doubles in frames three and four and then nine-spare in the fifth, so it was a 14 pin game in Barnes' favour. Then Barnes left the 4-6-10 in frame six which brought Jones back within two pins after a strike but then he had an 8-split. More spilits than we had seen all day. Barnes went three strikes, nine-spare and strike to finish with 212 whilst Jones went back to 14 pins adrift with nine-spare, three strikes and a seven count for 198.
Hardly a classic final, especially after the nail-biting women's finale, but victory for a very popular American who, incidentally won gold in the Men's World Championships in Munich, Germany back in 2010.
Jones bowled really well in the semi-final game, ousting Finland's Osku Palermaa, 259-199, which brought him much favour for the final. Barnes came through in a true squeaker, 246-244, from a tense semi-final against Andres Gomez, a Columbia man over Colombia.
So endeth a brilliant inaugural World Singles Championship, an event which sadly will only be held each four years, so plenty of time for the WTBA to look at the format and make some necessary changes.
Quarter-, Semi- and Finals - Women
Quarter-, Semi- and Finals - Men
Best of 5 Rounds 1 & 2 - Ladies
Best of 5 Rounds 1 & 2 - Men
Ladies Final Qualification
Mens Final Qualification
Videos and Photos will be posted during the event
(opens in a new window)
The live streaming team will be Andy James (Left) who works for the BBC and runs the PTBC bowling events and Talktenpin creator and content manager Dominic Gall (Right). The pair have worked on many Live Streams together including the London International, English Open and Navigators cup and this will be the second time they have streamed from the Galactica bowling centre in Limassol, Cyprus. This will be the first stream they have done under the new name of The Stream Team and have a few exciting things lined up not least filming the event in High Definition and using an ipad as a roving camera and commentary.
Live streaming will appear on the link below
Galactica Bowling Centre
The Championship will be played in 24-lane Galactica Luna Park & Bowling. The 2 floor center (12 + 12 lanes) was built in 2007 and since then has hosted all the major events of the Cyprus Bowling Federation. It is also the venue of the Navigators Cup.
The centre is divided in three floors, with restaurant and entertainment facilities on the ground floor, reception, 12 lanes, Pro-shop, dressing rooms and café on the first floor and reception, 12 lanes, dressing rooms, meeting rooms and café on the second floor.
The center will also turn different spaces into various function rooms during the WSC 2012, such as press area, VIP lounge and secretariat.
Food and drink possibilities:
The restaurant on the ground floor, as well as the café on the 1st and 2nd floors, will offer various hot meals as well as sandwiches, snack food, drinks and coffee during the championships. Both the cafés and the restaurant will be open in the morning and until a suitable time after the last squad each day.
Since it is our experience that many teams usually carry water, fruit and chocolate from various stores to the competition venue, such items will be offered at the centre, at reasonable prices, to assist team officials and to avoid the need for individual storage spaces in the centre.
Address and location:
The pattern length used in the WSC 2012 is Medium.
The pattern used will be chosen by the WTBA Technical Delegate Pini Hershkovitz and informed in the Manager Meeting. Helping Mr. Hershkovitz will be Gus Falgien from Kegel and of course the Galactica lane maintenance crew.
All games will be played on one lane condition.
The Pro Shop in Galactica Bowling Centre is situated at the first floor. In the Pro Shop it is possible to buy balls, shoes, various equipment, shirts, etc.
For any enquiries or orders please contact the center directly.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 September 2012 )|
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