ARLINGTON, Texas – The four athletes selected to represent Team USA are ready to compete on their home soil for the upcoming 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.
The event will take place from July 7-11, with competition in singles and doubles being contested inside the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
The women’s representatives include two-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, and three-time PWBA Tour champion Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois.
The men’s team will feature 2022 U.S. National Amateur Bowling Championships winner Trent Mitchell of Chicago and 2021-2022 National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Most Valuable Player Alec Keplinger of Coldwater, Michigan.
A total of 16 countries qualified in each division for the World Games through their federations, with each country allowed to send a maximum of two male and two female athletes to Birmingham.
O’Keefe leads the PWBA Tour in points through eight events this season, and she collected her 15th career title in May at the PWBA Twin Cities Open.
She will be retiring from the Team USA program at the end of 2022. O’Keefe started with the program in 2005 and has been part of Team USA for 18 consecutive years.
Bond, a six-time member of Team USA, had her breakthrough year on the PWBA Tour in 2021, capturing all three of her titles, including her first major championship at the United States Bowling Congress Queens.
She has a top finish of fifth this season at the PWBA BowlTV Classic.
Mitchell made Team USA for the first time in January with his win at the U.S. Amateur and will be making his debut in international competition representing the red, white and blue.
In addition to the victory at the U.S. Amateur, Mitchell also finished sixth at the 2022 USBC Team USA Trials.
Keplinger is a three-time member of Junior Team USA and collegiate standout at Wichita State University.
The 2019 Junior Gold Championships winner recently returned from Helsingborg, Sweden, after representing Junior Team USA at the International Bowling Federation U21 World Championships. He helped the men’s team earn the silver medal in the four-player team event.
In singles at the World Games, the 32 athletes in each gender-based division will be divided into two draws of 16. A single-elimination format will be used, with each match featuring a best-of-three format.
The winners of each draw will compete for the gold medal, while the two players who lose in the semifinals will bowl an additional match to determine the bronze medalist.
In doubles, 16 teams will compete in each division using the Baker format. Doubles also will feature a single-elimination format, with best-of-three contests determining which team advances to the next round.
The final two teams will bowl for gold, while the teams that fall in the semifinals will compete for bronze.
Competition gets underway for men’s and women’s singles Friday, with doubles starting in each division Saturday. Advancers in both disciplines will be back on the lanes Sunday, before the medal round in singles and doubles takes place Monday.
The last World Games took place in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2017.