In a match between the two squad leaders, Team USA member Bill O’Neill defeated Bodo Konieczny of Germany, 228-192, to defend his title and to start the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association combined adult World Championships with victory in Men’s Singles.
O’Neill (pictured left) and Konieczny (right), who both rolled 300 games in qualifying, earned the No. 1 and No. 3 seed for the four-player finals.
O’Neill led the six-game qualifying portion on the 33-feet Sydney lane conditioning pattern with 1418 total (236.33 average) including high games of 300 and 297 to take the early lead in All-Events, where he is also the defending champion.
In the semifinals, O’Neill ousted No. 4 seed, Shin Seung-Hyeon (right) of South Korea in a surprisingly low-scoring encounter, 181-155.
The Korean had three frames but O’Neill couldn’t capitalize as he opened twice. Finishing first, O’Neill struck on his first ball and had the chance to shut out the Korean with another strike. He missed the opportunity and finished with a spare, which gave the Korean to tie O’Neill with three strikes.
Shin left the “big four” (4-6-7-10) on his first ball to hand the match to O’Neill on a silver plate.
In the other semifinal match, third-seeded Konieczny, who rolled the first 300 game of the championships en route to lead squad 1, used a double and a turkey to sideline two-time world champion (203 Team; 2006 Doubles) Martin Larsen (left) of Sweden, 209-183.
In the gold-medal match, O’Neill got off to a quick start and built an early lead, relieving the pressure of having to perform down the stretch. By the time he reached the final frame, O’Neill just needed eight pins on his first shot and tossed three strikes.
“I didn’t think I would make the medal round halfway through the day,” said O’Neill, who bowled a 300 in the final game of qualifying to earn the top seed the medal round. “It was quite a different experience this time around, but I’ll certainly take it.”
Even though he lost in the final match, Konieczny was all smiles after earning the silver medal.
“We earned a couple bronze medals in 2010 at the World Championships, but I wanted to make this year even better,” said Konieczny. “This is my first time visiting America, so to bowl a 300 game and win a silver medal is a dream come true for me.”
This is Bill O’Neill’s fourth WTBA World Championship gold medal after winning three title in Men’s World Championships 2010 in Munich in Singles, All-Events and the five-player Team event.
Konieczny, who won two bronze medals in 2010 (Doubles and Team), received the silver medal. Larsen and Shin both received bronze.
Action shifts to Women’s Singles on Tuesday. The 212 women from 36 countries will be split into two squads (8. a.m., 1 p.m. PDT) to bowl six games of qualifying on the 33-feet Sydney pattern. The top four players will bowl for the medals in one-game matches.
The World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships run from Aug. 16 thru 31, 2013 at Sunset Station’s Strike Zone in Henderson, Nev. in the Las Vegas area. The Championships will award medals in six disciplines – Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team, All Events and Masters.
The entire competition will be broadcast live on BOWL.com’s BowlTV. Bowling fans will be able to watch live and on demand for free. The schedule is available at BOWL.com/LiveStream.
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