The 2010 World Men's Championships move into Doubles action for two days, starting at 09:00 local time on Sunday morning.
There are five squads scheduled, three on Sunday, two on Monday. The medal presentations will take place immediately after Squad 5 and the play-offs.
Interesting teams in the first squad will be Finland's star line-up of Mika Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa, Gery Verbruggen and Steve Peetroons of Belgium, Korea's Choi Yong-Kyu, 2009 World Cup champion, and Kim Tae-Young, Aaron Kong and Muhamad Ridhwa of Malaysia and Americans Patrick Allen and Rhino Page, doubles gold medalists in the 2008 World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Unfortunately, none of the above were atop the leaderboard when the dust of battle from the first squad had settled. Top of the squad were the talented pair from Sweden, Mathias Arup and Martin Paulsson, truly conquering what appeared to be a really tough lane condition with an impressive 2621, a score well ahead of second-placed defending champions Patrick Allen and Rhino Page of the United States, sitting on 2513.
"It is a tough condition out there today," remarked Paulsson, "and I don't think our score is anywhere near enough to get us into the top four. The two Americans were lefties and it was certainly not easy on that side of the lanes today."
Mathias Arup suffered on the medium oil in the Singles, totaling 1045 over the six games without a 200 game. That continued through the first three games in today's Doubles, but he came alive in the third game with a 269 and followed that with 240 in the fifth. "I'm trying to forget that 1045," said Arup. "I don't know what happened and I certainly didn't like it. I don't remember when I bowled so bad. I had a game plan today which I followed to the end. The long oil suits me better and it was good to bowl inside. I was hoping to get a better start, but the pins and I weren't friends today, especially for the first two games."
Team manager and head coach Tomas Leandersson was extremely pleased with his teams performance, stating that they performed well in their first World Championships, playing well after suffering big problems in the previous Singles event. He added that this was a big positive and should inspire the rest of the team.
SQUAD 2 TO MALAYSIA:
The first bowler to break 1400 in this year's World Championships is Muhamad Aiman of Malaysia, rolling a superb series of 1419 with games of 188, 233, 252, 276, 277 and 193. Partnered by Alex Liew, the left-handed duo posted 2568 to place second in the overall standings after the second of five squads.
"Although the lane condition is quite fair, this long oil pattern suited us as left-handers," said Liew. "Some lanes seem to be oilier than others, so I had to make a lot of adjustments, especially towards the end of the squad."
The last squad scheduled for today (Sunday) is already on the lanes. The remaining two squads will be at 09:00 and 13:00 CET tomorrow and the play-offs for the medals should start around 18:00.
AMERICA BACK IN CONTENTION
The dynamic duo of Bill O'Neill and Chris Barnes was the cream of the crop in Squad 3, slotting into fourth place in the overall
standings with a combined score of 2502. O'Neill was the star of the show with a six-game score of 1265, not bad on this tough long oil pattern, and Barnes backed him up with 1237.
The Koreans Cho Young-Soon and Jang Dong-Chui took second place on the squad and dropped into eighth overall, which severely displeased their team manager or coach. One or the other allegedly took one of the players by the ears until restrained by the tournament referee, explaining that this was not world Championship behaviour.
The United Arab Emirates had a strong challenge earlier but faded down the home straight with 375 in the fifth game, so took the squad's third place and are tenth in the standings.
Squads 4 and 5 take to the Dream Bowl Palace lanes today (Monday) and around 18:00 the play-offs for the medals will take place as one-game affairs.
Looking through the line-ups for the fourth squad, the name of singles silver medalist Choi Bok-Eum leaps off the page and we presume he is paired with Kim Jea-Hoon to be a pair with a great chance of plaicing in the top four come the play-offs this evening. Also fancied are the Finnish pair of Petteri Manonen and Juhani Tonteri. Also for the Asian zone, Hong Kong's Wu Siu Hong and Mak Sheuk Yin cannot be discounted.
Sayed Al Hashemi and Hussain Al Suwaidi from the UAE did well in the Singles but it remains to be seen how they cope with this difficult long oil pattern.
The United States do not have a pair on this squad so the pressure is on Wes Malott and Tommy Jones to bring home the
bacon on the final squad.
The going was tough but the tough got going in Squad 4, as the saying goes, and it was the German duo of Jens Nickel and Bodo Konieczny who led the squad into the paddock after the first six games of the day.
The talented pair cruised through the first four games with 400-plus scores but then drooped to 394 in the fifth. That left them needing 385 in the final game to top fourth place in the overall standings, and that they did - on the nail.
"The pressure in that last game was very much," commented Nickel. "Because the lanes dried up so fast and I had to bowl so deep inside the lane, it was really tough."
"Because of the tough lane condition today strikes were hard. We knew we had to score 385 in the last game but kept getting 9, 9, 9, so it doesn't get better at the end.," added Konieczny. "Normally I like medium and short conditions."
"Moving across the house was easier than yesterday," said Nickel. "On long oil that is a litle bit easier than on medium conditions. I hate medium - I hate long! I had to stand in front of the ball return because that is the way I like to bowl on the long condition."
Now the Germans have their fingers crossed that their score will stand up against the onslaught coming from the final squad. That group contains many strong players like the Americans and the Swedes. In fact, all four qualifying places could come from the final squad.
SQUAD 5 - THE END
As the sun sank slowly in the west, so ended the hopes of the challengers in Squad 5 of making it into the top four for the play-offs for the medal positions.
Strikes on the long oil pattern are far from ten a penny and all struggled. A star-studded field in this final squad could make little headway and it was focus on the pairing of Martin Larsen and Robert Andersson of Sweden, doubles medalists in 2003 and 2005, bronze in the former and gold in the latter. They needed 428 in the final game to spoil the line-up for the finals but
failed to make it by a wide margin, so had to be content and now look forward to tomorrow's trios.
Squad leaders were tied on 2475, eleventh and twelfth positions, but Norway's Mads Sandbaekken and Tore Torgersen had the honors by having the highest final game, tweaking Ioannis Stathatos and Stavros Parasakis of Greece.
"I don't know if it was the pattern or the pair-to-pair that has made it so difficult, but it was really challenging at least," remarked Sandbaekken.
"It seems that we're not fighting the oil but the topography of the lanes," added Torgersen. "Some of the pairs are very much harder than other pairs. I don't think 45 feet for the oil is too much."
Sanbaekken stated: "Obviously, there are some pairs you can score on so if all pairs were like that it would be fine. It is hard to say what the logical move is."
"This oil pattern is better than when we bowled in Thailand (two years ago). when we bowled there the lanes were completely dry when we finished," Torgersen said.
So the line-ups for the semi-finals feature Sweden (Martin Paulsson/Mathias Arup) versus the United States (Patrick Allen/Rhino Page) and Malaysia (Alex Liew/Muhamad Aiman) versus Germany (Bodo Konieczny/Jens Nickel).
Allen and Page are the doubles defending champions from the 2008 World Men's Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.
Full results and information on with live scoring and web streaming: www.bowling-wm.de
Doubles Top 10 Results:
|2.||Malaysia||213||2||Liew, Alex Kien Liang||180||216||175||185||204||189||1149|
|0||215||Aiman, Muhamad Nur||188||233||252||276||277||193||1419|
|4.||United States||341||1||Allen, Patrick||200||177||279||246||235||230||1367|
|5.||United States||344||3||O'Neill, Bill||253||189||225||215||169||214||1265|
|8.||Malaysia||214||1||Ridhwa, Muhamad Syafiq||200||190||212||226||201||246||1275|
|0||212||Kong, Aaron Eng Chuan||191||184||225||239||203||180||1222|
|10.||Hong Kong||135||4||Mak, Cheuk Yin||196||234||192||208||172||258||1260|
|0||130||Wu, Siu Hong||201||215||202||194||245||167||1224|
In the semi-finals the ambitions of the Americans to win a second gold medal were thwarted by the Swedish duo, advancing to the final, 449-373. Mathias Arup contributing 253 and Paulsson 196. For the American left-handers, Allen shot 209 and Page 164.
Malaysia ensured their place in the final with a convincing win over the Germans, 429-325. Aiman had 193 and Liew 236 for Malaysia and for the home team it was Konieczny 177 and Nickel 148.
Then it was gold to Sweden as they enjoyed a full tenth frame to emerge 2010 chamoions, 398 - 379. Paulsson led the medalists with 221 and Arup backed him up with 177.
For the silver medalists, Liew came home with 187 and Aiman 192.
The new champions were ecstatic, to put it mildly. "Tomas Leandersson, our coach, thinks he's the only one who has won a gold medal in World Championships (2003 Doubles) and then as a coach," Arup told us.
"It was a fantastic finish," said Paulsson. "I knew I had to get a double and when I did it was unbelieveable. I think we were trailing by about 16 pins going into the ninth frame but there's always a chance in bowling and I took it."
(Podium photo courtesy Terence Yaw)
"I'm so pleased," added Arup. "This is my first World Championship and it is wonderful to have a gold medal, especially after my bad start in the Singles with just 1045. I thought what the hell am I doing here, then to come back and win a gold medal with Martin is some story.
ALL EVENTS - TOP 16:
|1.||Malaysia||Aiman, Muhamad Nur||1247||1419||0||0||2666|
|2.||United States||O'Neill, Bill||1372||1265||0||0||2637|
|3.||United States||Barnes, Chris||1375||1237||0||0||2612|
|9.||United Arab Emirates||Al Hashemi, Sayed Ibrahim||1368||1196||0||0||2564|
|13.||United States||Malott, Wes||1278||1263||0||0||2541|
|14.||United States||Allen, Patrick||1172||1367||0||0||2539|