Barcelona – Squads 8 – 11 – Penultimate Qualifying

by Bob Johnson 0

Just eight more squads to bowl, or 'ocho' as they say in these parts, and there are several bunfights taking place as players tangle for places from waiting lists.

Squad 8 opened the day with an amazing total of 19 women the larger total of the 28 taking their places at 09:00.

Scoring was definitely not going through the roof for these early starters but by criminy the pace was so s-l-o-w from a couple of groups of women, bowling at least four frames behind the men and really eligible for yellow cards had they been available.

However, it was a man that took the squad honors - Jesper Agerbo, a pro shop proprietor from Copenhagen, Denmark ruled the

Jesper Agerbo

roost with just 1333. He missed a 4-pin in the tenth frame of his last game and left the door open for Dutch girl Bianca Wikeraad but she did not take the advantage and finished second, nine points back.

Jesper's wife, Rikke, was one of the slow-coach group and finished in ninth place on the squad, perhaps lacking encouragement from the boss.

"I am not usually a morning person, but I suppose that all went well today," joked Agerbo. "I had one bad game and that was the last one. When I came yesterday my biggest problem was the approach so I thought it may be better to play the morning squad to get better conditions. I missed the 4-pin in the last frame, which was bad. spares on the left side of the lane were a problem because I was sticking a lot on the approach and dropped the ball, probably the humidity, I don't know.

"On this squad it was kind of easy to move from pair to pair as the way the lanes developed was the same across the house, so basically I could follow what was needed. There were a lot of ladies on this squad but I was following five men. I tried to watch what my wife Rikke was doing but her group was so slow. The first two games we tried to wait for them so that we followed the same rhythm but they were just too slow, so we just started to bowl at our pace. However, I think I am one of the fastest in the world, so maybe actually that's why I played so good because they slowed me down."

After covering Barcelona tournaments for the past six years and perching squad winners on the ball returns for photos. There is a blue sign there: No Se Sientten En El Retornabolas" which had always been ignored. Yesterday, Oriel Ros, the genial proprietor of Bowling Pedralbes, approached and asked if I understood the sign. Evidently is says 'Do not sit on the ball return'.

Ignorance is bliss.

Full results and video interviews on:


We've talked of the big guns firing broadsides already in this year's Ciutat de Barcelona (Barcelona Open to you and me) but it was not much of an exaggeration when squad nine took to the lanes. Want to know the cast? Well, how about Venezuelan Amleto Monacelli, the first foreign player to be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame, for starters. Add Dominic Barrett, Martin Larsen, Mik

Stampe, defending champion Gery Verbruggen, Robert Andersson and Barcelona veteran Nicole Sanders and you get the idea of the firepower available for the six-games.

But, sadly, despite all the talent on display, there was no challenge to Zulmazran Zulkifli's pole position of the leaderboard, which came as quite a surprise and a relief to the Malaysian group.

Thomas Larsen

An opening 268 from Danish star Thomas Larsen, Catalonia Open champion last year on these lanes, saw him set the pace and hold that spot through to the end, despite a strong challenge from Monacelli. The Venezuelan fell just 19 pins short of Larsen when the dust of battle had settled, 1369 to Denmark, 1350 Venezuela.

Another Dane, Mik Stampe, took third place, keeping up his pace of being there or thereabouts in recent tournaments.

Of the five women on this squad, Aussie Cassie Staudinger, partner of Dominic Barrett, topped the scores with 1307.

"It was really good today and n ice to win the squad," commented Thomas Larsen. "I had 268 in my first game and then hit a couple of bad pairs (of lanes) and dropped to 207 and 202. I managed to keep out of trouble and bowled really well over the last three games.

"I don't know why Barcelona is so special for me, I think I just have more confidence when I bowl here. Maybe the lanes just suit my game pretty well. It just seems to be good every year. I don't haveto bowl again until Sunday, so I think I will try and see something of the city."

A large selection of tournament photographs is available on:


We've been a long time awaiting but now the bridge has been crossed, a woman has topped the squad.  Joline Persson-Planefors, now from Gothenberg in Sweden, swept to the top of the 28-player squad with a 1336, the only player to be over 1300, despite an all-star cast.

The opening squad at 9:00 this morning has 19 women on the roster. This squad nearly equaled that total with 18, so the gals are well represented in this year's event. many here with national teams to bond for the upcoming Women's World Championships scheduled for Hong Kong in September.

Joline is currently second-placed to Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark in the European Bowling Tour rankings, just 11 points aback of the Dane, but

Joline Persson-Planeforst it will be a race to the line over the final tour events for the honor of being the rankings leader.

"We are here to practice for the Women's World Championships in Hong Kong in September," explained Joline, "but we don't know

the whole team yet, just four have been named. We will know the full team next Wednesday.

"I bowled really good this squad. I bowled this morning  (1122) which wasn't very good but I had a good feeling for the lanes. This evening I changed balls and moved left the whole squad."

So Joline joins the elite to have won squads and will enjoy her pass into the finals on Sunday.


So we came down to the last squad of Friday and it must have felt like Friday the 13th for a couple of the Cypriot players as they retired from the fray after the first game but then decided to continue, complaining about the approaches being sticky. There is definitely more than a hint of humidity in the center as it seems to be the rainy season in Barcelona this week, but 170 other players have passed through the qualifying rounds without any severe problems, although a couple have commented that they had difficulty sliding.

Not quite so many women on this squad but there were three Malaysians and Danish star Britt Brondsted, truly forces to be reckoned with at any time of day.

Among the male stars, most likely PBA player of the year Mika Koivuniemi was determined to get into the finals, as was three-time WBW world bowler Dominic Barrett and EBT champion Paul Moor. Leftie Alex Liew from Malaysia, champion last week in San Marino, and ten thousand euro richer, has yet to catch up with a couple of his team-mates at the top of the leader board, but keeps trying.

There has not been a 1400 since yesterday, the guys and gals have not been trying hard enough so needed a giddy-up. But that was all changed with the last two frames of the sixth game when Mika Koivuniemi, a Finnish native now living in Hartland,

Mika Koivuniemi

Michigan, put together 1433 with as neat a scoresheet as ever you would want to see.

"I'm pleased to have bowled well this evening after a relaxing day," he told us. "I'm having a really good year and it would be nice to do well here. I have been coming to Barcelona for three yearsnow and it is a great tournament."

For a while, young Zandra Aziela from Malaysia kept pace with the tall Finn but she faded in the home straight and ended up 82 pins adrift of Koivuniemi. "It was neck and neck for a while," said a disappointed Holloway Cheah, the Malaysian coach.

With so many of the women's national teams competing this year, it may not come as much of a surprise that there were 51 female entries over the four squads today, but only one, Joline Persson-Planefors from Sweden, has won a squad and booked her place in the final.

Full results on: for interviews, click on 'youtube' above video window.


P Player Federation 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pins Hdcp Total
1 Mika Koivuniemi Finland 231 269 228 204 258 243 1433 0 1433
2 Zulkifli Zulmazran Malaysia 208 223 248 225 247 279 1430 0 1430
3 Marcus Berndt Sweden 239 236 244 247 244 214 1424 0 1424
4 Mats Maggi Belgium 211 215 252 212 247 268 1405 0 1405
5 Syafiq Ridhwan Malaysia 219 218 246 228 268 225 1404 0 1404
6 Adrian Ang Malaysia 206 225 235 269 227 225 1387 0 1387
7 Perttu Jussila Finland 239 258 248 232 212 194 1383 0 1383
8 Paul Moor England 257 212 190 265 220 233 1377 0 1377
9 Thomas Larsen Denmark 268 207 202 231 226 235 1369 0 1369
10 Brian Voss USA 236 237 202 233 200 254 1362 0 1362
11 Stuart Williams England 224 182 240 215 247 247 1355 0 1355
12 Christian Racpan Germany 183 257 195 278 217 224 1354 0 1354
13 Zandra Aziela Malaysia 223 200 209 228 256 187 1303 48 1351
14 Amleto Monacelli Venezuela 248 258 181 236 213 214 1350 0 1350
15 Jean Marc Samain Belgium 225 223 210 221 222 237 1338 0 1338
16 Mai Ginge Jensen Denmark 243 184 213 198 215 235 1288 48 1336
17 Joline Persson-Planefors Sweden 194 258 196 212 195 233 1288 48 1336
18 Mik Stampe Denmark 220 218 195 232 257 214 1336 0 1336
19 Martin Larsen Sweden 227 188 225 213 232 250 1335 0 1335
20 Osku Palermaa Finland 269 191 174 230 223 248 1335 0 1335
21 Jesper Agerbo Denmark 211 257 224 200 259 182 1333 0 1333
22 Marcial Ovide Marron Catalonia 230 207 259 209 212 212 1329 0 1329
23 Bianca Wiekeraad Netherlands 222 226 201 201 193 233 1276 48 1324
24 Robert Andersson Sweden 179 256 247 224 207 211 1324 0 1324
25 Moi Perez Ibañez Catalonia 178 214 237 244 252 198 1323 0 1323




Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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