14th December, Abu Dhabi: Korea dominated the Masters finals of the World Bowling Championships 2014 with Kang Hee Won capturing their fourth gold medal and Park Jong Woo-Choi Bok Eum winning their third and fourth bronze.
A packed house at Khalifa International Bowling Centre witnessed yet another thrilling and exciting finale to the 13-day long world-class bowling championships. Like the 5-player Team finals yesterday, the tie was decided in the tenth and final frame between Korea and United States.
All Events and Team silver medalist, Mike Fagan of USA started the final match with a double strike in his two opening frames but Kang went one up with three strikes-in-a-row from frame 3 to open up a small lead.
The American responded well with a double in the fifth and sixth frames to level thing up. Fagan’s attempt to take the lead landed him a poor shot with a 2-4-6-10 split in the seventh frame to fall 16 pins behind the Korean.
Just when the match had favored Kang, he too stumbled to a similar split in the ninth frame. Fagan’s opportunity to win USA’s first gold in the championship came to an abrupt halt when he encountered yet another 4-6 split in the ninth frame.
And despite striking out from the tenth frame to end with 198, all Kang needed was to mark his tenth frame to take victory. The Korean delighted the crowd and his team-mates by striking home to win the tie with 213.
“I had a good match with Park which gave me the confidence needed to face the American,” said the 32-year-old national rookie, who won the Team gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon two months ago.
“When I made a bad shot in the ninth frame, it didn’t bother me too much and I said to myself all I needed was to put in full concentration in my next shot. And when Fagan had another split in the ninth frame, I knew I had the chance to win the match.
The champion eliminated two gold medalist, Park Jong Woo, 231-190 in the all-Korean semi-final match to earn a crack at the title while Fagan ousted top seed and third Korean, Choi Bok Eum, 212-197 in the other semi.
In the earlier Step 2 round-robin match-play Masters finals, Choi, who led Step 1 finals in the morning, remained in the lead with a score of 1721 winning six of the seven matches contested for a grand total of 8891.
Park finished second with 1682 and winning four matches for a total of 8669.
Kang took third spot with 1611 and won four matches for a total of 8520 while the fourth and last semi-finals spot went to Fagan with 8455 from three wins.
His team-mate, Tommy Jones missed the cut by 18 pins finishing fifth with
8437 and four wins. Martin Larsen of Sweden, Jason Belmonte of Australia and the fourth Korean, Shin Seung Hyeon ended in sixth to eighth positions respectively.
Three Koreans in the Step 1 Masters finals advanced to Step 2 taking the first three spots while the fourth advanced in eighth. Fagan and Jones took fourth and seventh while the Aussie and the Swede was fifth and sixth.
272 bowlers from 49 countries participated in the 13-day championships wholly supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council with the help of generous sponsors, Borouge, a leading provider of value-creating plastic solutions for infrastructure (a joint-venture organization between ADNOC and Borealis of Austria) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
The championships is co-oganised by World Bowling and Emirates Bowling Federation supported by Zayed Sports City.
12th December, Abu Dhabi: Defending champion, Finland broke the 3-games series record of 3354 set by first squad leader, Korea to lead the first block of the 5-player Team event at the World Bowling Championships 2014 on Friday.
Malaysia got off the block with a splendid 1153 to lead Finland by 8 pins in the second squad but their lead was short-lived as the Finns fired another huge game of 1131 to take over the running.
Sweden, who also posted a superb opening game of 1130, followed it up with a bigger game of 1159 to close in on the leader while Malaysia slipped away with 1085. Finland ended strongly with 1105 to finish the block with 3381 smashing the 3-games series record of 3354 set by Korea in the first squad.
Sweden managed 1073 in their third game to settle for second with 3362, 19 pins off the Finns and also surpassing the newly-set record. Puerto Rico gave a good account for themselves with 3285 to take up third in the squad.
In the earlier Squad 1, Korea started off poorly with 1023 as USA took the early lead with 1101. But the Koreans fought back with 1088 to take over the lead from the Americans, just 8 pins ahead.
The leader posted a stunning 1243, 2 pin short of the 1-game record the 1245 set by France in 2008 in Bangkok for a total of 3354, breaking the record set by Malaysia in 2008 by 1 pin to lead the squad.
USA settled for second with 3261 while Australia finished third with 3209.
Korea ended third overall behind Finland and Sweden while Puerto Rico is the cut in fourth position with an team average of 219.
Meanwhile, Singles gold medalist, Dan MacLelland of Canada took over the lead of the All Events standings with 4835 after 21 games played. Overnight leader and Doubles gold medalist, Choi Bok Eum of Korea slipped to second with 4829.
Trios silver medalist, Mike Fagan of USA finished third with 4798 followed by Park Jong Woo of Korea and Singles bronze medalist, Tommy Jones of USA rounding out the top 5.
The top 24 teams from the first block will bowl their second block in Squad B tomorrow afternoon while the bottom half of the 44 teams will complete their second block in the morning.
The top 4 teams will advance to the medal round in the semi-finals and finals shootout. The top 24 in the All Events will qualify for the Step 1 finals over 8 games with pins carried forward from the All Events standings on December 13.
The top 8 from Step 1 will advance to the 7-games Step 2 round-robin match-play finals on December 14. The top 4 will then proceed to the medal round shootout semi-finals and finals for the sixth gold medal of the championships.
10th December, Abu Dhabi: Two-time PBA-World Bowling Tour winner, Thomas Larsen led his team-mates, Carsten Hansen and Frederik Ohrgaard to give Denmark the lead at the end of the first block of the World Bowling Championships 2014 Trios event.
The Danes reeled off lines of 732, 686 and 740 to top the opening squad with 2158. Ohrgaard posted 718, Hansen 715 and Larsen 725 to finish 183 pins ahead of the first Finish trio of Perttu Jussila, Juhani Tonteri and Doubles bronze medalist, Joonas Jehkinen.
Colombia’s first trio took third position in the squad with 1955. Both Finland and Colombia eventually dropped off to 12th and 13th position after the third squad completed their first block.
Singles gold medalist, Dan MacLelland led his Canadian team-mates, David Simard and Francois Lavoie to top the second squad with 2079 but was 79 pins short of the Danish trio.
Joachim Karlsson, Robert Andersson and Martin Paulsson of Sweden finished second to the Canadians just 1 pin behind and kept their third position in the overall standings.
Newly-crowned PBA-WBT Kingdom of Saudi Open champion, Marshall Kent partnered his American team-mates, Mike Fagan and Sean Rash to take up third in the squad with 2038 and is the cut in fourth overall.
The Korean doubles silver medalists, Shin Seung Hyeon and Kang Hee Won together with doubles gold medalist, Choi Bok Eum took the third and final squad of the day with 2032 but only finished sixth overall, 14 pins off the cut.
The second Australian trio of Jason Belmonte, David Porto and Singles bronze medalist, Sam Cooley was third in the squad and eighth overall, a further 27 pins off the cut.
The second American trio of Bill O’Neill, singles bronze medalist, Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes managed fourth in the squad and ninth overall, 30 pins from their compatriots.
The first trio of Doubles gold medalist, Park Jong Woo, Hong Hae Sol and Kim Kyung Min, who is fifth and just 6 pins off the cut, cannot be discounted as the contender for the top 4 positions.
The second block of three games will end the preliminaries and the top 4 will make the cut for the semi-finals and finals shootout. With only 70 pins separating seven teams, it will certainly be a thrilling end to another exciting day of bowling at its best.
9th December, Abu Dhabi: Fourth-seed Choi Bok Eum and Park Jong Woo came from behind to snatch Korea’s first gold medal at the World Bowling Championships after defeating Japan, 410-396 in the Doubles finals.
In the title match, Choi had two splits in the first and fourth frames and Daisuke Yoshida too had two splits in the second and fourth frames. But Yoshida’s partner, Shusaku Asato covered with a double in the second and third frames.
Choi’s team-mate and Incheon Asian Games Masters and Team gold medalist, Park only got going with a double in the fourth and fifth frames to level things up.
Yoshida rolled three-in-a-row to take a slender lead but could not take his striking power all the way to the end and although Asato did recovered with with a double after an opened frame in the fifth, he too could not carry it all the way to the end.
Choi made sure he had no more open frames while Park needed to double in the tenth frame after a strike in the ninth to take victory and the gold medal.
Yoshida managed 191 with Asato 205 for a total of 396. Choi posted 184 and Park was the hero in the match with 226 for a 410 total.
“Choi didn’t have a good start and then he had a perfect pocket shot only to see pin 7 and 10 standing,” said the 23-year-old star of the Incheon Asian Games winning the Masters and Team gold medals.
“I kept telling myself to take deep breaths and keep my composure otherwise I will make silly mistakes. In the other, it paid off and I’m so glad to win my first gold medal at the world championships.”
The champion had also come from behind to beat top seed, Joonas Jehkinen and Kimmo Lehtonen of Finland, 490-466 in the second semi-final match to advance to the finals.
The Japanese pair sailed past third-seed, Kang Hee Won and Shin Seung Hyeon of Korea, 447-379 in the first semi-finals to face the Korean pair of Choi and Park in the finals.
In the earlier fourth and final squad of the preliminaries, Choi and Park snatched top spot with 2703 to clinch the fourth and final semi-finals spot.
2014 World Youth Masters champion, Jesper Svensson and Robert Andersson, who was leading before going into the final game, ended in second with 2680.
The Swedes missed the cut by 23 pins to finish sixth overall. Their team-mates Martin Larsen and Daniel Fransson were knocked off the top 4 into fifth overall by the Koreans and missed the cut by 15 pins.
Zulmazran Zulkifli and Adrian Ang of Malaysia was third in the fourth squad with 2646 but ended up ninth overall.
Squad 1 leader, Jehkinen and Lehtonen remained as top seed with 2729 while third squad leader, Yoshida and Asato advanced in second with 2725.
The competition will next shift to the Trios event over two blocks of three games on December 10 and 11, divided into three squads. The top 4 at the end of the second block will square off in the shootout semi-finals and finals.
8th December, Abu Dhabi: Joonas Jehkinen and Kimmo Lehtonen gave Finland a flying start to lead the opening squad of the Doubles event at the World Bowling Championships 2014 and remained top of the overall standings after three squads.The Finish pair reeled in consistent score lines of 493, 480, 441, 462, 401 and 452 to lead the squad with 2729 and setting a massive benchmark.
Two-time world championships Singles champion, Bill O’Neill and Mike Fagan took second spot, 62 pins away with 2667.
Malaysia’s first pair of 2013 AMF World Cup champion, Muhamed Syafiq Ridhwan and Alex Liew, who was trailing the Finns until the fifth game, slipped behind the American pair by 5 pins for third position.
In the second squad, Jonathan Simoneau and David Simard of Canada rolled a big game in the last to snatch the lead with 2609. Pace-setter, John Wells and Richard Teece of England ended in second with 2557.
The Canadian’s effort only managed to land them in fourth overall after two squads with The Finish, American and the Malaysian pairs hold first, second and third positions respectively.
In the third and final squad of the day, Incheon Asian Games Doubles silver medalist, Daisuke Yoshida and Trios gold medalist, Shusaku Asato led from start to finish to claim top spot with 2725.
Anchorman, Asato needed to strike out in his tenth frame of the last game to snatch the overall lead but only spared the frame. The second Japanese pair could also had tied with the Finns but knocked down only 7 pins in the bonus frame to settle for second overall, just 4 pins adrift.
Incheon Asian Games Team gold medalist, Kang Hee Won and Shin Seung Hyeon of Korea, who finished second to the Japanese with 2717, took third position overall while rookie Daniel Fransson and Martin Larsen clinched fourth position with 2688.
The fourth and final squad of the Doubles preliminaries will be held tomorrow, December 9 to decide the top 4 pairs who would advance to the shootout semi-finals and finals.