Scandinavia Rules the Teams

by Bob Johnson 0

A 277 from Norway's Mathias Reinertsen in the first game of the Boy's Team event of the 2012 European Youth Championships sent his quartet on their merry way, but disappointment came when their game total of 851 was outshone by neighboring Sweden, who posted 866 for first place.

The Swedish quartet

Denmark, always in the hunt this year and holding two bronze medals from the Girl's Doubles, shot a classy 848 for third place with their Martin Pedersen contributing 253. Star 'two-hander' Markus Bergendorff, son of famous international coach Goran Bergendorff, leads the Danish scores with 244.
The top six teams managed to average 200-plus for this first three-game block. The second three-game series takes place tomorrow for the total scores over six games.

The current records stand at 934  for the team sngle game, held by Russia; 2620 for three games, held by Sweden; 5175 for six games, held by The Netherlands.

Although Reinertsen kept up his strikefest, the rest of the Norwegian team failed to back him up and they slumped to sixth place with 1600 after the results of game two were posted. New leaders are Denmark with 1710, knocking Sweden off their perch by 21 pins for 1689 and Belgium rise to the occasion, jumping into third place with an 874 game, the highest of the day, and 1679 overall.

Six teams are still averaging 200.

When the dust settled after the third and final game of the day (Dust - At Lovvang Bowl? You must be joking!) for the boys saw the all familiar situation of Scandinavians at the top of the table, Sweden leading with 2587, followed by Finland, 2520, and Denmark losing a little ground to be third with 2467. The Dutch claim fourth place with 2467.

Star of our show today is Finland's Juuso Rikkola who amassed 756 over his three games to top the individual scores, happily striking with games of 213, 278 and 265, his 278 being the high game of the day, pipping Norway's Reinertsen by just one pin.

The boys can now put their feet up for the rest of the day, or do whatever boys get up to in their spare time, as they do not return to the lanes until Thursday afternoon to bowl their second six-game block.

This afternoon it is the turn of the girls to turn on some magic.

Many of the young ladies set off at a merry trot and there were a few 200-plus games in the mix, the best a 265 from Andrea Hansen of Norway, having to bowl in a make-up team as the Norwegians only have three girl players in the event. Her 265 is the highest female game played in the tournament so far.

The team with the mostest after the first game is Sweden, following well in the footsteps of their male counterparts who led the field in the Boy's Team this morning. The Swedish girls were the only quartet to break 800 and they did that in style, grossing 825.

Swedish Girls

There is a break, maybe temporary, in the Scandinavian domination of the event this year (and many past) as England hold second place with 778 and their neighbors Scotland in third, 748.

But this is just the first of six games, three this afternoon and another three tomorrow morning, so scoring is bound to improve for those suffering at the moment in the lower regions of the standings.

The four English girls were 50-plus pins ahead of their Danish opponents about a third of the way through the second game and then just opened the door and let them through, finishing 21 in arrears and dropping from second place to third.

The cream of the crop was still Sweden, sitting comfortably on 1595, just five pins off a 200 average, holding a 68 point buffer over second-placed Denmark (1527), thereby getting Scandinavia back into the top two places and Finland are mounting a challenge should the English weaken, being in fourth place on 1493.

Top girl after two games is Roosa Lunden from Finland on 456. She is the daughter of well-known international Reija Lunden.
The third game saw the English get their act together but not enough to catch the Swedes who had built a massive 71 pin lead over England, 2362 - 2291.
Denmark dropped back a couple of points and now lie in third place (2249) and Finland hold at fourth (2238).

The girls will open the fray at 09:00 Thursday for their final three team games and the Swedes just smile and say "Catch us if you can."

Sweden's team coach Peter Ljung, himself a well established international competitor and with an AMF World Cup title, commented: "With more players on the lanes we had better chances of course, but we had to solve a few problems that are out there on the lanes. Once we got setttled after a couple of frames with the boys this morning we were pretty well OK. The girls were right on from the beginning this afternoon. It was just the transition we had problems with from time to time. Some of the players, like Jenny (Wegner), could have done better today. She had two open frames in the second and third games at the end of the games, but she's still 68 over, so I can't really complain."

When we take a glance at the all events standings, now a total of nine games from the six of the doubles and the current three team, the top three boys are: Filip Wilhelmsson, Sweden 1977; Markus Bergendorff, Denmark 1973 and Juuso Rikkola, Finland 1961.

Hannah Frost of England still leads the girl's nine-game scores with 1889 (209 average), followed by the Ukraine's Daria Kovalova (1873) and Jenny Wegner of Sweden (1868).

Medals are awarded for the top three scores after doubles, team and singles events, a total of 18 games.

Full tournament information and standings on:

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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