14th Kuwait International Open 2023
Swede captures first major international title
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1st October, Kuwait: Topseed, Pontus Andersson needed a second deciding game to beat his Swedish compatriot, William Svenson in the title match of the 14th Kuwait International Open 2023 to capture his firt major international title while the Ladies' crown went to Juliana Franco of Colombia.

Andersson struggled big time in the first match against his challenger after being delt with four unwanted splits to go down to Svenson, 154-226 in the all-Swedish finals. The topseed again found the going tough when he failed to convert a three-pin spare at the start of the second decider.

It was Svenson's turn to find the lanes breaking down quickly after he had two splits in his first two frames. When Svenson encountered two more splits in the fifth and sixth frame, the match swung to Andersson's favour.

A fifth split in the eight frame from Svenson gave Andersson an easy path to winning the second game and the match for the victory. The 28-year-old champion pocketed a whopping U$30,000 in prize money and a trophy.

Pontus Andersson with the champion's trophy and cheque of U$30,000

Svenson settled for second to earn US$15,000 a first runner-up. The fifth-seed had edged fourth-seed, Aseel Alroomi of Kuwait, 208-206 in the first match and third-seed, Tony Wong of Hong Kong. in the second match. Svenson was handed the victory when Wong, who looked set to advance, stumbled to a split in his final frame for a 190-215 loss.

Second-seed Aidas Daniunas of Lithuania had no answer too, going down to Svenson, 166-215 in the third match to settle for US$10,000 as second runner-up. Wong and Alroomi took home US$8,000 and U$6,000 for finishing fourth and fifth positions respectively.

The champion topped Round 3 finals with 1116 followed by Daniunas in second with 1105. Wong took third spot with 1076 while Alroomi and Svenson made the cut for the Stepladder finals in fourth and fifth positions.

Callum Borck of Australia won Round 2 finals followed by Alroomi in second and Andersson in third. But the Aussie managed 10th in his next round. Thailand's Yannaphon Larpapharat topped Round 1 finals but crashed out in Round 2.

Meanwhile, Juliana Franco defeated Maria Rodriguez 189-183 to win the all-Colombian Stepladder finals match to win Ladies' crown. She earned the special prize of U$2,200. Abdulrazzaq Mohammad defeated compatriot, Omar Al Saqran, 191-180 in the Kuwaiti only Youth Stepladder finals to win his first youth title.

Ladies' champion, Juliana Franco with her trophy and the U$2,200 cheque

His Excellency, Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah, President of IBF, ABF and Kuwait Bowling Sporting Club, presented the cheques and trophies to all the division champions. A total of 98 bowlers from 17 countries competed in the two-week long tournament.

Kuwait will also be hosting the highly anticipated 2023 IBF World Bowling Championships at the same bowling center commencing October 3 through to 15, 2023 in which a total of 144 men and 78 women from 24 countries will be taking part in.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

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