2017 World Bowling Championships
USA, Japan seals topseeds for semi-finals
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30th November, Las Vegas: Team USA's Danielle McEwan, Kelly Kulick and Shannon O'Keefe sealed their spot in the Women's Trios Semi-finals at the 2017 World Bowling Championships after topping the final Squad 1 while Squad 2 leader, Japan reamined unbeaten to claim top spot in the men's division.

Having only led the first block by six pins over Germany, O'Keefe, McEwan and Kulick had a great start in the fourth game of the second block with 657 to extend their lead over the German trio of Janine Gabel, Tina Hulsch and Patricia Luoto to 79 pins.

The American threesome knocked down another superb game in the fifth but the Germans responded with 681 to narrow the gap to 56 pins. With the benchmark of 3721 set by the leader of Squad 3 Chinese Taipei, Team USA needed 496 or more to beat it and claim top spot.

O'Keefe, McEwan and Kulick shot a respectable 595 to seal their spot in the semi-finals as topseed with a margin of 35 pins. Su Shu-Wen, Pan Yu-Fen and Chou Chia-Chen settled for second position.

Women's topseed, Danielle McEwan, Shannon O'Keefe and Kelly Kulick

Germany finished second to the American trio to finish third overall with 3785. The fourth and final semi-finals spot went to overnight leader, Putty Armein, Sharon Limansantoso and Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia. They will face a daunting task of attempting to beat the strongest women trio when they face USA while Chinese Taipei will face Germany in the other semis.

The strong Korean trios failed for the first time to reach the semi-finals. Squad 2 leader of Rikke Holm Agerbo, Britt Brondstead and Singles silver medallist, Mai Ginge Jensen missed the cut by 29 pins to finish fifth overall.

Meanwhile, Finland's first trio of Joonas Jahi with Doubles bronze medallist, Petteri Salonen and Niko Oksanen, who was eighth in the first block of Squad 1, 131 pins behind the leader and 19th overall, 192 pins adrift, posted 616, 657 and 685 in the second block to lead the squad with 3784.

Chinese Taipei's first trio of Chen Wu-Chi, Xu Zhe-Jia and Singles silver medallist, Wu Hao-Ming set the early pace with 659 in their opening game to take over the running, eighth pins ahead of overnight squad leader, Korea.

Finland quickly went into the lead and never looked back. Needing big games of 769 to beat Squad 2 leader, Japan and 709 to beat Squad 3 leader, Hong Kong, the Finns totaled 3784 to top the squad and claimed third position overall.

Chinese Taipei 1 finished second to Finland with 3757 to clinch fourth spot with 3757. Squad 3 leader of Eric Tseng, Wu Siu Hong and Michael Mak of Hong Kong took made the semi-finals in second position with 3308.

Squad 1 leader, Niko Oksanen, Joonas Jahi and Petteri Salonen

Canada's Zachary Wilkins, Mitch Hupe and Francois Lovioe was the unluckiest trio, missing the cut by only eight pins in fifth position with 3749. Again the fancied Koreans were way off the pace. Japan will be matched up against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong will face Finland in the semi-finals scheduled for December 3.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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