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.