2019 World Bowling Women's Championships
Colombia makes semi-finals as pole-sitter
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25th August, Las Vegas: Colombia's Rocio Restrepo and Maria Rodriguez became the only pair from the second squad to make the semi-finals after topping the Doubles preliminaries at the 2019 World Bowling Women's Championships.

Russia's third pair of Maria Koshel and Maria Bulanova surprised a strong field by taking the lead at the start of the second squad with 472. Malaysia's second pair of Sin Li Jane and Siti Safiyah Amirah also had a superb start with 471 to trail the Russians by one pin.

Kong Min and Wang Xinlin of China's third pair and Missy Parkin and Singles semi-finalists, Danielle McEwan of USA's second pair, did well to take up third and fourth with 462 and 459 respectively. Malaysia immediately took over the running after adding 486 in the second game.

Russia stumbled to a lowly 377 to slip away while China kept pace with 481 to stay close to the Malaysians in second. The third American pair of Stefanie Johnson and Singles semi-finalist, Shannon O'Keefe moved into third, just 18 pins away from China.

Doubles pole-sitter, Maria Rodriguez and Rocio Restrpo of Colombia

Malaysia held on to the lead after posting 452 in the third game as China remained in second albeit 24 pins further away. The second Swedish pair of Joline Persson Planefors and Singles semi-finalist, Sandra Andersson fired 503 to move up to third.

Colombia's Restrepo and Rodriguez also fired a big game of 513 to haul themselves up to fourth with the third Swedish pair of Anna Andersson and Cajsa Wegner in fifth. Restrpo and Rodriguez stepped up their pace with another stunning 515 to immediately move into the lead.

Malaysia managed only 436 and slipped to second to trail the Colombians by six pins. Planefors and Andersson kept pace with the Malaysian pair to stay in third as China slipped out of contention.

Colombia remained in the lead after posting 459 in the fifth game. Malaysia held onto second with 432 while the third Swedish pair matched Colombia's fourth game effort of 515 to move into third, 24 pins from the Malaysian duo.

With a benchmark of 2729 set by the first Korean pair in Squad 1, Colombia needed 419 or better to go top. Malaysia, however needed a much higher game of 452 or more while both the Swedish pairs had a tougher task of 476 and 477 to stand a chance of making the cut.

The third Swedish pair of Andersson and Wegner managed 443 to finish second to Colombia with 2697 but missed the cut by 61 pins in fifth position overall. Korea settled for second overall while the first Colombian pair of Juliana Franco and Clara Guerrero, who was second in the first squad, ended third overall on 2727.

Top 4 semi-finalists, Colombia 3, Korea 1, Colombia 1 and Sweden 1

The first Swedish pair of Josefin Hermansson and Jenny Wegner, who was third in Squad 1, survived by clinching the fourth and final semi-finals spot with 2706 while their compatriots and second Swedish pair of Planefors and Andersson finished sixth with 2668.

The Colombians have avoided each other in the semi-finals. Restrepo and Rodriguez will meet Hermansson and Wegner while Son Hyerin and Lee Yeonji of Korea will face Franco and Guerrero in the other semi-final match. The winners of the semi-finals will square off in the gold-medal final match. The Doubles semi-finals and final will be held on August 29, after the Singles semi-finals and final.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Las Vegas, USA.

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