The top 24 from the previous qualifying rounds are now in session with two blocks of four games, bringing forward fifty per cent of their qualifying pinfall.
In the first block, it was Nicole Sanders of the Netherlands, the defending champion, who lit her lantern with the first eight strikes in the first game to lead the parade with 269 but followed that with 197. Close behind at the first stage and then taking over the lead after two games, Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark culled 266 and 217 to hold the lead with 1178, including pinfall brought forward.
The top six were over 1100 from the first two games.
A vintage computer scoring system that did not bring forward total pinfall after each game brought difficulties in keeping up with the pace of play. However, a print after three games proved Jensen still to be leading after three of the eight game stint with 1406, 15 sticks better than second-placed Helen Johnsson of Sweden and fellow Swede Rebecka Larsen Jr third with 1382.
It was still Danish Delight come the halfway stage with the first four games done and dusted. Mai ginge Jensen from Aarhus in Denmark ruled the roost with 1620, including pinfall brought forward, and Helen Johnsson from Sweden, also over 1600, was runner-up on 1602.
A nice halfway finish for Luz Adriana Leal, formerly from Colombia but now living in Barcelona and adopting Catalonian citizenship, she holds fourth place after a fourth game 277.
"I had a good feeling today, so started well with a 266," Jensen told us. "There are a couple of pairs of lanes that are different. You've got to roll the ball here because there is a lot of oil and a lot of the girls are doing that, so we are getting good carry from the corner pins. It makes a huge difference by having the lanes set up just for women. For some girls it is positive and negative for others, but I like it."
There was an hour delay in getting the second four-game block into action due to a score computer malfunction. The block started with players using paper scoresheets but the computer came back online for the next game and that showed Jensen still holding the lead over Johnsson, but with Rebecka Larsen and Wendy Kok taking over third and fourth positions.
Six games down the 'pike' and Jensen has Larsen on her tail, Johnsson dropping down to fourth and Kok up to third. Jensen just rolled her low game of 208 in the quarters and now holds just 19 points over Larsen who, incidentally was runner-up here last year.
A high game of 259 consolidated Jensen's position at the top of the leaderboard with a total score of 2314 after seven games, 62 pins ahead of second-placed Rebecka Larsen. Clara Guerrero, perhaps the tournament favorite moved into third place after a 257 and Helen Johnsson stays in the leading quartet in fourth place on 2233.
Qualifying for the semi-finals came to a disappointing end for defending champion Nicole Sanders, finishing well down the standings in 14th place. But numero uno was our projected favorite Clara Guerrero who finished with a 267 to outpoint Jensen in the home straight. Rebecka Larsen took third place and Kamilla Kjeldsen fourth, so the semi-finals, over best of three games, will be Colombia versus Denmark and Sweden versus Denmark.
The timing has gone a little late, so the semi-finals are due to take place at 15.15 and will be over the best of three games. The televised final will take place immediately afterwards. Unofruntately, the local internet will not support web streaming so the final will be recorded by CatTV and shown on the federation website, www.tbowling.cat, early in the week.
First game wins for Kjeldsen and Jensen in the semi-finals, both seeking for an all-Danish final. Kjeldsen defeated favourite Guerrero, 204-196, and Jensen had a wider margin over Larsen, 215-192.
Both semi-final matches were concluded over two games. The decider for Kjeldsen came with a 217-203 victory over Guerrero and Jensen booked her place in the tile match by taking out Larsen 226-208.
17:00 local time will be the time set for the final to begin, again the best of three games.
The final was maybe a sstrikefest and a wonderful climax to a women's bowling tournament. In no way were the lanes easy, especially with the TV lights on the even lane.
Honors to Mai Ginge Jensen for taking the first game, 214-197, but Kamilla Kjeldsen fought back to take the match into overtime by clinching the second game, 258-249.
The title game was as good as bowling gets with Jensen hitting the first nine strikes and a packed concourse willing a perfect game to close what is probably the only international tournament dedicated to women outside of the United States. To the disappointment of the crowd the 4-pin stood its ground and Jensen won the championship two games to one and a final game score of 279-243.
It was a most enjoyable final for the crowd of supporters, but did the two Danes enjoy it? "It was great," commented Kjeldsen. "It was great to bowl well against another good bowler. What more could you wish for in the final?"
Jensen added: "Yes, the same words. It was a good final and we had fun. I was disappointed not to bowl a 300 in the last game. I think it was deja vu from earlier in qualification when I did the same for a 279. I was planning on doing it, but it was not to be."
Plaudits too for Marija Tkacenko of Riga, Latvia. As the top finisher under the age of 20 she was presented with the President Samaranch Cup, a prestigious trophy sponsored by the late IOC president, who used to come along to the finals to make the presentation himself. He is greatly missed.
For tournament interviews, see:
STANDINGS AFTER BLOCK 2 (8 GAMES):
Top 4 qualify for semi-finals
|2||Mai Ginge Jensen||Denmark||695||266||217||228||214||227||208||259||199||1818||2513|
|6||Luz Leal Gonzalez||Catalonia||629||205||246||219||277||213||208||178||221||1767||2396|
|13||Ghislaine V/d Tol||Netherlands||622||206||249||211||225||212||196||217||204||1720||2342|
|23||Rikke Holm Rasmussen||Denmark||623||180||235||150||174||229||157||220||186||1531||2154|