United States, Korea Win Doubles at 2016 World Youth Championships

by Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications 0

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Junior Team USA’s Wesley Low earned his second gold medal in as many events at the 2016 World Bowling Youth Championships, while Lee Yeongseung and Pak Yuna of Korea broke two qualifying records Friday on the way to the girls’ doubles title at Sun Valley Lanes.

Low, the boys’ singles winner earlier in the week, teamed with World Youth Championships first-timer Anthony Simonsen to win gold in boys’ doubles with a 418-338 victory against Malaysia’s Rafiq Ismail and Tun Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam.

Simonsen led the way for the United States with a 227 game, and Low added 191. Ismail and Tun Hasnul Azam earned the silver medal, shooting 189 and 149, respectively.

“I’ve won a few tournaments throughout my bowling career, but winning a gold medal for your country is a completely different, and amazing, feeling,” said Simonsen, also a member of adult Team USA. “I’m speechless, really, but I wouldn’t be disappointed to have this feeling a few more times.”

Simonsen and Low managed just two strikes in the first five frames against Malaysia, but the duo used a 3-7 split conversion from Low in the fifth frame to turn the momentum in their favor. Low followed with two strikes, and Simonsen tossed four of his own to pull away.

“After the fourth frame, (Team USA head coach) Rod (Ross) told us he wasn’t seeing the intensity he saw in the first match, and we needed to get that back,” Simonsen said. “Wesley making the 3-7 was the turning point, and we were fortunate to be able to string some strikes for the win.”

On the girls’ side, the Koreans dominated doubles from the start, breaking the event’s three (1,392) and six-game (2,694) qualifying records. Singapore previously held the three-game mark with 1,358, rolled in Helsinki in 2010, and Mexico owned the six-game record with 2,675, shot in Orlando, Florida, in 2008.

The strikes continued for Lee and Pak in a 514-342 win against the United States in the championship match. Pak set the pace with a 277 effort, while Lee contributed 237.

Junior Team USA’s Gazmine Mason, the singles gold medalist this week, and Julia Bond, who won bronze in singles, fell behind early with a pair of open frames and managed just one double prior to Mason’s 10th frame. Mason finished with a 184 game, and Bond had 158. Mason and Bond earned the silver medal.

“It has been my dream to be a world champion, and I’m so happy we were able to be successful,” Lee said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Both Korea and the United States were unchallenged in their semifinal wins.

Lee (201) and Pak (208) downed England’s Emily Allen and Keira Ray, 409-311, and Mason (196) and Bond (208) topped their Junior Team USA teammates, Stephanie Schwartz and Jordan Richard, 404-335.

Allen rolled a 181 game in the loss, and Ray had 130. Schwartz led the way for the United States with 203, and Richard added 132. All four bowlers earned bronze medals.

In the boys’ semifinals, Low and Simonsen cruised to a 482-372 win against the Dominican Republic’s Hector Simo (190) and Wascar Cavallo (182). Simonsen had 246 in the win, and Low rolled a 236 game.

Malaysia had little trouble dispensing Sweden’s Pontus Andersson and Jesper Svensson, who broke the boys’ six-game qualifying record (2,815) Thursday on the way to the top seed for Friday’s semifinals.

In the 458-394 win, Tun Hasnul Azam finished with 234, and Ismail added 224. Svensson had 206 for Sweden, and Andersson, a defending doubles champion at the World Youth Championships, had 188.

Sweden and the Dominican Republic earned bronze medals.

Competition at the 2016 World Youth Championships continues with the first squad of girls’ team qualifying live on BowlTV on Saturday at10 a.m. Eastern.

All teams will bowl six games over two days, with the top four girls’ teams and top four boys’ teams advancing to the best-of-three Baker semifinals, scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. EDT.

This 2016 World Youth Championships includes more than 200 competitors from 37 countries, competing for medals in five events – singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters.

Bowling fans from around the globe can watch the competition live on BOWL.com’s BowlTV with continued coverage of all qualifying, semifinal and final rounds.

For complete information on the World Youth Championships, visit 2016wyc.worldbowling.org.

The complete live-streaming schedule (all times Eastern) can be found at BOWL.com/LiveStream.

2016 WORLD BOWLING YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sun Valley Lanes, Lincoln, Neb.
Friday’s results

GIRLS

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

Lee Yeongseung/Pak Yuna, Korea, def. Gazmine Mason/Julia Bond, United States, 514-342

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Lee/Pak def. Keira Ray/Emily Allen, England, 409-311
Mason/Bond def. Jordan Richard/Stephanie Schwartz, United States, 404-335

BOYS

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)

Anthony Simonsen/Wesley Low, United States, def. Rafiq Ismail/Tun Hakim Tun Hasnul Azam, Malaysia, 418-338

SEMIFINALS
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)

Simonsen/Low def. Wascar Cavallo/Hector Simo, Dominican Republic, 482-472
Ismail/Tun Hasnul Azam def. Pontus Andersson/Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 458-394