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Championship Title
42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup Page 1 | 2 | 3
American, Finn crowned champions

10th November, Caracas: Diandra Asbaty captured the Women's crown for USA for the third consecutive year while favourite, Osku Palermaa took the men's title at the concluding 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at the National Bowling Centre in Mampote.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Diandra Asbaty from Chicago, Illinois defeated England's Lisa John in the final by two games to nil - 232 and 226 to 214 and 199. It was the second year running that the USA had defeated England.

Diandra was amazed at her win. "It is really difficult to qualify to play in the Bowling World Cup. We have done so well and I just wanted to carry on the tradition and follow Shannon and Lynda and bring the title back to the US.

"It's not just about me, it's about everyone - my family, all the coaches I've had in my life and everyone who gave me a chance. Without them I wouldn't know what I know now and I'm really grateful," added Diandra.

Women's Champ
Diandra Asbaty of USA winning the women crown

Coach Jeri Edwards described Diandra's performance today as "brilliant" and added "She has been outstanding all week. She used four different balls and made many adjustments very well. It was important to find a way to strike because the scoring was so high.

"She also made a great choice of equipment to bring here, putting a lot of thought into her preparation. The will to prepare to win is more difficult than the will to win and her preparation was spot on. I am so proud of her," added the delighted coach.

Lisa had earlier defeated Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark in the semifinal to set up the match against Diandra, winning 2 games to one - 227 to 179, 182 to 246 and 230 to 164.

Lisa was not downhearted at being our runner up. "I'm really pleased actually," she said. "I've been out for nearly 18 months with a bad whiplash injury and only started playing again earlier this year, so to finish second in the world is a great result. It was my first appearance in the Bowling World Cup and I have really enjoyed the experience and I am determined to come back."

Diandra was making her second appearance in the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup having competed in Lisbon, Portugal in 2000. She will now be concentrating on her new career as Chief Executive of "Kaizen by Diandra" - a line of athletic fashion clothing which she has just launched.

Two years ago in Singapore, Finland beat Norway in the men's QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup final. This year history repeated itself when Osku Palermaa beat Petter Hansen by two games to one - 258 to 182, 183 to 216 and 221 to 204 in the decider.

Sadly for Petter, he was the losing player in 2004 as well, when Kai Virtanen won for Finland. It was also the third time in five years that Finland has taken the title: Mika Luoto won in 2002 when the event was in Riga, Latvia.

Osku was delighted with his win and with the way he had played all week. "I had to really focus especially in the third block of eight and more so today. It finally feels good and I can relax. I played well all week but a championship match is different and never easy especially against a player like Petter," said the champion.

Men's Champ
Osku Palermaa of Finland taking the men's title

His coach, Sami Luoto, who is the cousin of 2002 champion Mika, was equally pleased. "Osku was the best player throughout the week and all the guys, including Petter, would have felt it an injustice if he had not won. I'm very proud of him and I hope it will not be two years before Finland wins again - we'll be looking to repeat our win next year."

Earlier Hansen had defeated defending champion, Michael Schmidt of Canada by two games to nil in an up and down match. The first match was 289 and 241 in fovour of Hansen but the second match did not live up to that high scoring promise - 183 to 179.

Hansen's achievement in reaching the final was all the greater since he had been feeling really ill all morning. His first semi final match, 289, was a new World Cup record for a stepladder final, eclipsing the mark of 279 set by Mohammed Kahlifa Al-Qubaisi of the UAE in 1994.

Michael was philosophical: "First and third in two years can't be that bad. It does make me more determined to come back and I shall be trying my hardest at our national championships in March."

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Favourites shine in quarterfinals

9th November, Caracas: Favourites, Osku Palermaa of Finland and Diandra Asbaty of USA shone in the another 8 games Top 8 quarterfinals of the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup as the field gets narrowed down to just the Top 3 on Thursday.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

There was clear blue water between the top three men and the chasing pack from a long way out. Osku Palermaa of Finland, Michael Schmidt of Canada and Petter Hansen of Norway were clear and away but there was still no lack of excitement.

In game one of the final block of eight, Petter hit the first eleven in a row to finish with a 298. Then in game six, Michael also got the first eleven, only to finish with a 297. All three were averaging over 230 and were enjoying their success here. Petter will be looking to improve on his second place two years ago in Singapore.

Michael on the other hand will be looking to be the first man to successfully defend the title. He said: "I really love this tournament. The crowd gave me a great boost when I got the first eleven today and I'm just looking forward to the matches tomorrow and hoping I can do it."

Osku Palermaa
Osku Palermaa setting an all-time record

The real battle was in the women's section. Diandra Asbaty of USA, had a clear lead and never looked like she could be caught, but three women were competing for the next two spots in the stepladder final - Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark, Laura Rhoney of Scotland and Lisa John of England.

It went to the wire. In the position round, first block leader, Mai Ginge Jensen of Finland had a lead of 31 over Laura Rhoney of Scotland, who had a lead of 21 over third-block leader, Lisa John of England. Mai rolled a 203 and was safe. Lisa overcame Laura by 238 to 199 to make the final by 18 pins.

Lisa commented: "I feel badly for Laura. She deserved a better score than she got. We both realised this game could go either way and at one point I thought she had it. That made me loosen up a little and I shot five in a row to finish."

Diandra Asbaty
Diandra Asbaty of USA topping the quarterfinals

Mai was surprised to have got this far: "I didn't expect this at all. I've come so far in my bowling and I've never done anything like this before. But the European Championships have given me confidence so we'll just see what happens tomorrow."

If Mai should win, she would be the second Dane to carry off the title. The first was Brigitte Lund in 1974 when the event was held in Caracas! High block of eight was Diandra's 1812 but Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic took the high game honours with a 277.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

There's no stopping the Finn

8th November, Caracas: Second block leader, Osku Palermaa of Finland continued to sweep all before him in the final block of eight qualifying games in the Men'w division of the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup Wednesday evening.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Not only did he hit 2057 over today's eight games but he also shot yet another perfect game on the way to that score. His total pinfall of 6057 over the 24 games (an average of 252.3) put him an amazing 428 pins ahead of his nearest rival, Michael Schmidt of Canada, who shot 1829.

Palermaa became the second man in the history of the Bowling World Cup to hit two 300 games and the first to hit two in one tournament. But the tournament is not over yet and who knows what this young man might achieve.

The leader was playing on the same lanes as local player Reydnier Chavez and his scoring ability must have rubbed off on Reydnier. A huge crowd had gathered and the biggest cheers of the evening were heard in the seventh game when Reydnier had the first ten in a row.

Osku Palermaa
Osku Palermaa of Finland scoring his second perfect game

Sadly, he left one pin on his 11th ball for a 289. But he then followed that with a 279, to give him a total of 1740 over his eight games and just enough to get him into the next round by a mere 4 pins, on 5105, an average of 212.7.

In third place was Petter Hansen of Norway, runner up in 2004 in Singapore, on 5624 (1907 today) while Dominc Barrett of England took fourth spot with 5491 (1799 today). Seven Asians made the cut with UAE's Mohammed Al-Qubaisi leading the pack in seventh.

The top 24 men will play a further eight games tomorrow (Thursday) with the top eight then going through to the semifinal of another eight games. At present eighth position was held by Achim Grabowski of Germany on an average of 225.75. Grabowski too was a former runner up, in 1992 when the tournament was held in Le Mans, France.

The eight game semifinals will also be played tomorrow and will determine the top three who will compete in the stepladder finals on Friday.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

England shoots into the lead

8th November, Caracas: England's Lisa John shot 1701 over her final eight games of qualifying to go into the lead of the Women's division in the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup on Wednesday evening.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Her total of 5296 over 24 games, an average of 220.6, gave her a lead of 18 pins over Diandra Asbaty of the USA in second place with 5278 improving from fourth in the previous block. Third position went to the overnight leader, Helen Johnsson of Sweden, with Scotland's Laura Rhoney continuing to make a strong bid. Helen was on 5261 and Laura on 5233.

Asia's No. 1, Putty Armein of Indonesia continue to display strong performance to take up fifth spot with 5191 (1628 today). Three other Asians to make the cut were Singapore's Jasmine Yeong-Nathan (12th), Malaysia's Siti Safiyah Amriah (13th) and Hong Kong's Melody Yeung (22nd).

There were two other stars of the show today. First, Venezuela's Karen Marcano had the large crowd on their feet when she got the first 10 in a row. She finished that game on 288, the high game for this block, with a score of 1759 for her eight games, enough to move her up into 14th position with a total pinfall of 5010.

Lisa John
Lisa John of England leading the Top 24 into the next round

Secondly Clara Juliana Guerrero of Colombia shot the high eight-game series with 1788 which moved her into 11th place on 5093. In total, 12 ladies hit over 1700 for the eight games. The cut for the top 24 fell at 4878 and the last qualifier was Daniela Esposito of Italy.

Tomorrow the 24 women will bowl a further eight games for another cut to the Top 8. At the moment that mark was occupied by Piritta Kantola of Finland on a 213.7 average.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Swede takes over lead

7th November, Caracas: A superb 1827 over her second block eight games gave Sweden's Helen Johnsson a total of 3685 and the lead in the women's division of the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at the National Bowling Centre in Mampote.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Overnight leader Mai Ginge Jensen of Finland, dropped to second on 3620 despite posting a strong 1727 today while Lisa John of England third on 3595 with an 8-game second block of 1706. Johnsson, who was fourth in the first block, was the only bowler to surpass the 1800-mark 8-game series.

Johnsson competed in the same event in 2004 and 2005, coming in fifth on both occassion and is certainly looking to improve on those results. "I feel more confident about my bowling now as I've had a very good year," she said.

"I won the Masters in the European Championships in Germany and I'm now third in the European rankings. That all gives me much more experience and I feel good about my play." For Lisa it was her first appearance in the Bowling World Cup but has many titles under her belt.

Helen Johnsson
Helen Johnsson taking over the lead after the second block

"I got a gold in the 1998 World Youth Games which was special as it was my first international title, but the 2001 European Championships were even more special as well as England really dominated," said Lisa who also won the European Cup for Individuals in Moscow in 2001. High game in this block was 279 by Natasa Rovithaki of Greece.

Asia's No. 1, Putty Armein of Indonesia continued her fine form to stay with the leaders posting 1715 for a 16-game total of 3563 while debutant, Jasmine Yeong-Nathan of Sinapore improved from 12th overnight to tie in eighth on 3459 with Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia.

The cut for the top 24 is currently a tie between Betrix Pesek of Hungary and Evelyn Tutschka of Austria with an average of 199.25 . Home favourite Karen Mercano is enjoying the support of a large crowd and is currently in 22nd place, 63 pins ahead of the cut.

The final round of eight games will be played tomorrow (Wednesday) before the top 24 bowl another eight games. There will then be a cut to the top eight and a further eight games will determine the three top players who will go through to a stepladder final on Friday.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Finn scores perfect game to maintain lead

7th November, Caracas: First block leader, Osku Palermaa of Finland continued where he left off with another fine series of 1949 over eight games in the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup - and this time his score included the perfect 300.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

With a total score of exactly 4000 over his 16 games - an average of 250 - Palermaa was 200 pins ahead of defending champion Michael Schmidt of Canada, who lies second on 3800 and Petter Hansen of Norway in third place a further 83 pins behind. Petter, who himself was the runner up in 2004 in Singapore, shot 1899 today.

Argentinian Lucas Legnani, fifth last year, had a good set with 1842 and moved up the field dramatically into 13th place, while last year's runner up, Or Aviram from Israel, shot 1797 and now lies in 20th place.

"I played badly yesterday," said Aviram after his eight games, "but I was much happier with my game today. I know I still have a lot of work to do to make the finals, but I have more confidence now."

Osku Palermaa
Osku Palermaa scoring the tournament's second perfect game

SEA Games Masters Gold medalist, Markwin Tee of the Philippines was the best Asian performer improving from 11th to ninth with 3627 followed by Korea's Seoung Joon Baek and Indonesia's Ryan Lalisang tenth and 11th with 3624 and 3618 respectively.

The cut for the top 24 is currently a 213 average with Edgardo Ruiz of Puerto Rico just in, while Wim van der Veen of the Netherlands lies in 25th.

Osku's perfect game came in game 14 and ensures that he will take the high game trophy home to Finland. If more than one perfect game is bowled, the first player to shoot one will receive the trophy.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) will see the men bowl a further eight games before the cut to the top 24. There will then be a further cut to the top eight before the top three bowl a stepladder final on Friday.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Finn sets early pace

6th November, Caracas: Finn Osku Palermaa, 22 set the early pace in the first squad of the men's qualifying in the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Caracas, Venezuela, hitting 2031 over his eight games at the National Bowling Centre in Mampote.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Defending champion Michael Schmidt of Canada, who was bowling in the second squad, gave it his all but it was not to be - for this round of eight games at least. He finished on 1940, behind Osku on second place overnight.

Lying in third after the first eight, on 1932, was Guy Caminsky of South Africa, a frequent competitor in the Bowling World Cup and an ever-present since 2000, when he registered his best finish in third place.

Osku has had a very busy bowling year with only three weekends off from tournament bowling. He found the scoring here high but said: "I feel there is more pressure when everyone else is striking a lot because every little mistake matters."

Osku Palermaa
Osku Palermaa of Finland setting the pace

The high game in this round of qualifying went to Philippe Huber of Switzerland with a 297. Asia's best finisher was World Cup debutant, Adrian Ang of Malaysia posting 1869 to take up fifth spot while Korea's Seoung Joon Baek finished in the top 10 with 1828.

There will two more days of bowling for the 88 male and 73 women before the cut to the top 24. These players will bowl a further six games before the cut to the top eight. Both those rounds will be played on Thursday November 9th, with the stepladder finals of the top three following on Friday 10th.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

Honours to Denmark and Scotland

6th November, Caracas: The honours from the first women's qualifying squad of eight games at the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Caracas, Venezuela, went to Denmark and Scotland. Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark leads the event on 1893 while Laura Rhoney of Scotland hit 300 in game three.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Mai, 22 already an international multi-medallist, having won gold in the doubles event European Championships with her sister Anja, silver in the trios, silver in the all-events and bronze in the team. The two sisters fought it out in the Danish qualifier to be here with Mai only just coming out on top.

"Four of my bowling balls didn't arrive in time for the practice session," said Mai, "So I had to use just two strike balls and find the right line for the conditions. I now have my spare ball, but luckily I didn't need it much this morning!

Mai feels that the longer format was better for her. "I like marathon bowling as I will be able to cover any bad scores when I have so many games to bowl," said Mia, who lives in the small town of Hjoerring and bowls at the 14-lane centre there.

Mai Ginge Jensen
Mai Ginge Jensen taking an early lead in the first block

Meanwhile, Laura Rhoney became the sixth woman to bowl a perfect game in the history of the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup. She is no stranger to the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup having played in five previous events. Her best result was 5th place, two years ago in Singapore.

"It's my second 300," she said, "and the first one was nine years ago in 1997! I really got it together today although there were a couple of lucky shots in there. So now I've got one trophy to take home and I`m hoping for another.

Laura took fifth place on 1852. Second behind Mai was Lisa John of England on 1889 with Diandra Asbaty of the USA third on 1887. On the Asian front, the best finisher was current Asia Ranked No. 1, Putty Armein of Indonesia in sixth with 1848 followed by Malaysia's youngest-ever representative, Siti Safiyah in eighth with 1844.

Lisa John
Lisa John of England taking second spot

The men will contest their first block of 8 games while the women will continue thier second block tomorrow. The top 24 after three blocks of 8 games will make the cut for the Top 24 round.

Story by Judy Howlett, photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup all set to go

4th November, Caracas: A spectacular dance troupe entertained a packed concourse and seating area to begin the official opening ceremony of the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at Mampote Saturday evening.

42nd AMF World Cup logo

Defending men's champion Michael Schmidt of Winnipeg, Canada with Canadian woman Veronica Lalande-Lapointe is raring to go. So are brother and sister Or and Mor Aviram of Israel. Or is making his third attempt to capture the prestigious World Cup title.

"I want to at least equal last year, where I was runner up to Michael Schmidt in Slovenia, or perhaps go one spot better," he added laughingly. Mor is making her second visit to the World Cup and just to keep it all in the family, mother Sara Aviram has also bowled in this wonderful event twice.

The revised tournament schedule sees the women attending for their official practice session at 10:00 on Sunday morning and the men at 14:00.

Team Parade
Teams parade at the 40-lane Nacional Bowling Center

Battle will commence on Monday morning with the women bowling their first eight of 24 qualifying games. The men follow at 13:30 for Squad A and 18:30 for Squad B.

Photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers' Journal International.

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