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Olympia Super Series Tournament More News...
Arturo Quintero leads the Mexican way

15th August, Helsingborg: Arturo Quintero of Mexico headed seven bowlers who hit over 700 in the opening three games of this squad but was the only one on target to hit over 1,500 and join Mika Koivuniemi in the elite circle, the top eight qualifiers.

The 25-year-old bowling journeyman from Mexico City had a good second set and finished in second place overall, just a few pins behind tournament leader Koivuniemi.

Olympia Super Series

"Tonight I was looking for something different and decided to change the insert in the ring finger," he said. "I thought I'd try that as nothing else seemed to be working. Previously, I liked the lane condition, was hitting the pocket with every ball, but just wasn't carrying."

Today he slept late and rested through the afternoon before taking to the lanes for his fifth entry. "Tonight it all came together," he added. "I bowled really well with a low game of 237 and a high of 259, so I thought that was pretty consistent."

That dreaded cut to 44th place is getting much higher, now standing at 1,326. Could it be that our genial bowling center proprietor Patrick Backe may lose some of the little time he has to sleep tonight, wondering if his 1,329 will make it after the final two qualifying squads tomorrow?

For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Arturo Quintero
Arturo Quintero joining the elite top eight qualifiers
A fight to the Finnish

15th August, Helsingborg: Petri Mannonen of Finland found the lanes of Olympia Bowling here in Helsingborg very much to his liking this afternoon. He led at the halfway stage of the six-game qualifier with the highest three-game score of 752 and the high game so far of 289. But he has fellow countryman Sami Konsteri on his tail, just seven pins off the pace, and another Finn, PBA pro bowler Mika Koivuniemi another 20 pins back.

Olympia Super Series

When the dust settled at the end of the squad it was Koivuniemi in front and the new tournament leader as his six-game series of 1,516 is the first to break the 1,500-barrier. When asked what he had for lunch to bring out this amazing strikefest, he replied, with a laugh, "I did well because I took yesterday off. I've been bowling for seven straight days in a row and needed a break."

Koivuniemi has been on the American Pro Bowlers Tour for the past four years and will be flying back to America on Monday for the PBA Regional Tournaments and then the main Tour in October. He is. of course, very worried about the current power cut in the eastern states and his house in Detroit has had no electricity for the past two days. "I'm looking at facing a big bill for the loss of food in the freezer," he said.

Mika Koivuniemi
Mika Koivuniemi, the new tournament leader

The Finn's amazing performance today, which included a perfecto in the fourth game, the fourth of this tournament, showed Koivuniemi's well-honed skills. "I bowled fairly well on the first pair, but only hit a 222 and 227, so I changed balls on the second pair for a 276 and 300," he said. "I was getting a good line from the bowlers on the lanes with me and was playing straight and hard. I made a couple of bad shots in the last game, but I've still made the final, which was my goal."

Currently, there is a nice mix of ten nations represented in the qualifying positions, which cooks up a nice recipe for some interesting bowling over the final two days, where we will see the introduction of a very unique format. But more of that tomorrow.

The cut to 44th place, estimated earlier in the week to be around 1,300, has now crept up to 1,314 and there are still three more qualifying squads to roll. There are a lot of worried looking faces on the players just above that region right now! For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Larsen of Sweden reigns supreme

15th August, Helsingborg: Martin Larsen of Sweden set the pace in this morning's Squad 7, hitting 730 over his first three games, with a high of 258. The 24-year-old from Gothenburg kept up a solid strikefest over the second block with 679 to top the squad on 1,409. He needed at least a 265 in his final game to get into eighth place overall, and did just that.

Olympia Super Series

"I had a good first four games and then ran into trouble on the last pair of lanes." said Larsen. "They were every dry so I moved left, but that didn't do much good. But then I saw another bowler play the right gutter so I moved 15 boards right and that turned out good.

"Up until then I hadn't played much differently than the last two squads, when I had 1,340 and 1,347. I knew I could improve on that if I could keep out of trouble. I made the right moves at the right times and the scores went up."

For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Martin Larsen
Larsen setting the pace in Squad 7
Hoffman sets the pace in Squad 6 in Superseries

14th August, Helsingborg: The irrepressible Bill Hoffman of USA, hit the third 300 game of the tournament here in Helsingborg this evening and put together his first three game series of the squad with 796 but slipped back to a 650 over the next three, to pass on the chance to challenge Gery Verbruggen of Belgium for pole position.

Olympia Super Series

"I had a conversation with coach Fred Borden last night and agreed with him that I needed a new ball," remarked Hoffman after this evening's squad. "I tested it out on this squad and it worked. The cooler temperatures here now and the new ball meant a difference of 200 pins to the scores I was shooting yesterday."

TeamUSA mate Tim Mack was bowling almost alongside over the last two games and the margin between the two was lessening as Mack found the strike pocket. Did Hoffman find this disturbing? "No, there's a growing bond between us as we prepare to bowl in the World Championships in Malaysia, so what used to be competition between us has turned to a really true camaraderie," he added.

Bill Hoffman
Hoffman hitting the third tournament perfect game

Hoffman did a two-day instructional stint earlier in the week with Fred Borden, featuring a seminar for some 25 students on the finer points of the game. It seems he practices what he preaches.

Squad 7 takes to the lanes Friday morning at 9:00 am and will be followed by two more squads later in the day. For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Verbruggen in striking form

14th August, Helsingborg: Things got off to a flying start for Gery Verbruggen this afternoon. The Belgian pro shop manager hit the tournament's second 300 of the week in his opening game and followed that with a 279 and 257 for a fine 836 three-game series, halfway through the first of today's two squads. Another 659 over his second three saw him take over the pole position of the tournament table from Tore Torgersen with a fine total of 1,495.

Olympia Super Series

"The lane were a lot drier in the last game," said the Belgian. "If you played slower you ran into a load of splits."

He was conscious that he was approaching the high score set by Torgersen but didn't let it prey on his mind. "I just play my own game in situations like this," he commented. "I just wanted to get into the last eight, that was my goal. Now I can relax and perhaps play some golf until the finals."

Verbruggen played his first-ever round of 18 holes in the Olympia tournament on Monday. "See you in a couple of days," he joked as he set off from the first tee, but, to his credit he did manage a score of just over 140. Not bad for a first-timer.

A large contingent of Finnish bowlers arrived today and Lasse Lintila is

Tim Mack and Gery Verbruggen
Gery Verbruggen (right) being congratulated(?) on his high score by Tim Mack

making the strongest challenge from the group which includes 2002 AMF Bowling Word Cup champion Mika Luoto, who will be in Honduras later this year to defend his title. For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Sweden takes Squad 4

13th August, Helsingborg: Jouni Kampainen of Trosa, Sweden topped Squad 4 this afternoon but did not budge Tore Torgersen from his perch at the top of the leader board on 1,471. The 21-year-old bowling center employee held a 213 national average at home last year and was pleased to hit a 234 average here to top the squad scores and hold fourth place overnight with 1,404.

Olympia Super Series

"I'm really surprised that I bowled so well," he said afterwards, "but my long-time coach Sten-Ake Nilsson told me exactly what to do, how to play, so I went out and did it."

Asked about his idols among the highly talented competitors in this prestigious event, Kampainen replied: "All the American bowlers seem to be good, but I've always admired Tim Mack and Bill Hoffman, so I'd like to see them do really well."

Kampainen made a name for himself at the Super Six Championships in Kristinehamn by rolling the only 300 game and picking up the handsome prize of 100,000 Swedish kroner. What did he do with the money? "I've still got it," he promptly replied.

Jouni Kampainen
Jouni Kampainen averaging 234 to top the squad

There's a good head on young shoulders. For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

It's now Tore Torgersen's turn

13th August, Helsingborg: The results board has a new name at the top after the third squad here at Olympia Bowling on Wednesday as Norway's Tore Torgersen took over pole position from Mark Siders of the United States with a total pinfall of 1,470. The 34-year-old (35 next month) now living in Kungsbacka, Sweden, hit a massive 1,101 over the first four games (289, 289, 245 and 278) but faltered over the final two to a more human 181 and 189.

Olympia Super Series

"I had a very good start but then the lanes really dried out and I got some bad carries," said Torgersen at the end of the squad. "I knew I was pretty much set to be in the top eight, so it was a bit of an anti-climax. I just bowled the best I could to stay at the top.

"The pin carry is very difficult here and there are big changes from pair to pair. This condition will suit the power bowlers, you have to throw a strong rolling ball."

After so many years in Sweden, will Torgersen change his alliance from the Norwegian national team to that of Sweden? "Definitely not," he quickly replied. "I am from Stavanger, my heart is still in Stavanger and I will still speak Norwegian with a Stavanger dialect." So we can forget that thought for a while.

Tore Torgersen
Tore Torgersen taking over the lead from Mark Siders

Although Torgersen hasn't stood at the top of the podiums in major international events this year, he did win four out of five events in Norway. And who could discount him from being well in contention in the upcoming WTBA World Championships in Malaysia? Not I, for one. For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Rookie takes pole in Squad 1 & 2

12th August, Helsingborg: Andy Warhol said that everyone should enjoy 15 minutes of fame, but Mark Siders of the United States (pictured) has the overnight lead, so should enjoy at least 12 hours in the limelight. The 25-year-old student of Industrial System Engineering at OSU has never set foot outside of his homeland before, therefore is competing in his first international event, having been talked into taking this trip by Bill Hoffman, also a citizen of Columbus.

Olympia Super Series

"I'm really impressed with Sweden and the city of Helsingborg," said Siders. "The people are so laid back, and it is so safe and clean. I haven't seen much of the city yet, but plan to do so as soon as I can. It seems that there is so much tradition here."

Siders' 1,408 total will surely make the cut, but the unique format means that you want to be in the leading spots for the next round. "Hopefully my score will stay in the top eight. I matched up well to the lanes and really thought I could have had a better score." Siders added. " I'm very impressed with the bowlers here, they are a lot more sound and fundamental than at home, they seem so much more focused. This is a good format too, I like to play more games."

Mark Siders
Rookie Mark Siders impresses with the lead

Just over 60 pins cover the top eight right now, with bowlers from four nations within that group. This has every sign of being a great tournament. For detailed scores, visit Bowlers Journal International website.

Story and photos by Keith Hale, Bowlers Journal International

Detailed Scores
Squad 1 - 12 Aug
Squad 2 - 12 Aug
Squad 3 - 13 Aug
Squad 4 - 13 Aug
Squad 5 - 14 Aug
Squad 6 - 14 Aug
Squad 7 - 15 Aug
Squad 8 - 15 Aug
Squad 9 - 15 Aug
Squad 10 - 15 Aug
Squad 11 - 15 Aug