2017 World Bowling Championships
Japanese makes semi-finals
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25th November, Las Vegas: 2015 Asian Youth Masters bronze medallist, Futaba Imai of Japan made the semi-finals of the Women's Singles event at the 2017 World Bowling Championships after winning the second squad at South Point Bowling Plaza.

2017 Asian Youth All Events gold medallist, Shion Izumune of Japan set a blistering pace with 249 in her opening game of the second squad to take a 19-pin lead over Rikke Holm Agerbo of Denmark in second. Canada's Valerie Bercier with 227, Malaysia's Sin Li Jane with 226, Colombia's Maria Rodriquez and Mexico's Sandra Congora both with 225 were the following pack.

Izumune set the lanes ablazed with another stunning 257 to extend her lead to 27 pins as Rodriquez rolled 244 to take over second spot. Singapore's Cherie Tan followed in third and Agerbo slipped to fourth. Although the Japanese managed only 196 in the third, she held the lead by 23 pins over the Colombian at the halfway mark.

Futaba Imai winning the second squad to advance to the semi-finals as second seed

But another 192 in the fourth game saw Izumune dropping to second as Rodriquez surged ahead with a superb 236 to the Japanese by 21 pins. A second Japanese, Futaba Imai rolled a big game of 279 to take up third position, 21 pins further away.

Liza Del Rosario of Philippines took advantage of the set backs suffered by Rodriquez and Izumune when the duo failed to maintain their strong pace. Rosario needed 237 or more to beat Squad 1 leader, Hong Haeni of Korea and make the semi-finals but ended with 200 for a 1295 total.

Rodriquez needed 237 but managed only 188 for a total of 1281. Izumune needed 241 but finished with 209 for a 1298 total. Imai was the strongest finisher with 236 to not only top the squad but earned second spot overall with 1322.

Hong remained unbeated to advance to the semi-finals as topseed. As a result of Imai finishing second, Chan Shuk Han of Hong Kong and Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark tied third and fourth positions and had to contest a one-ball roll-off to break the tie and determine who will be third and fourth seeds.

Both Chan and Jensen had strikes in their first and second shots. Chan threw another strike in the third while the Dane managed only 9 pin to settle for fourth position. She will face Hong while Chan will face Imai in the one-match semi-finals scheduled for November 27.

Izumune, who finished second in this squad, missed the cut by four pins for fifth position. Rosario was sixth, Rodriquez seventh, Juliana Franco eighth with 1280 while Putty Armein of Indonesia, who was fourth in the first squad ended in ninth position.

The men will contest their Singles event, divided into two squads. The combined scores after the second squad will determine the top four advancing to the semi-finals.

Top 4 semi-finalists, Imai, Hong, Chan and Jensen

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

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