averaged almost 250 for six games to lead the singles preliminaries at the Men’s European Championships after two of four squads with 1492 pinfall total.
Agerbo (pictured above), who won the masters gold at the 2012 MEC in Vienna, Austria, had games of 289, 220, 227, 278, 232 and 246 in squad 1, an average of 248.67, to fall just 16 pins short of the championship record set by Norwegian Lasse Ingebrigtsen (1508) in Moscow, Russia, back in 2005.
Pontus Andersson (left) of Sweden also cracked the 1400-bar in the opening squad to finish day one in second place with 1426, or an average of 237.67. Andersson, who won gold in all-events at the World Youth Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, three weeks ago, had games of 269, 214, 214, 245, 226 and 258.
Third place belonged to Antonino Fiorentino (right) of Italy, who led squad 2 with 1415 and an average of 235.83. Fiorentino started his six-game series with 235, 243 and rebounded from a 197 in game three with 234, 238 and 268.
Rounding out the top 4 who will advance to the medal round on Sunday afternoon, was Kert Truus of Estonia, who was mere three pins behind Fiorentino with 1412 (235.33), including one of two 300 games.
Truus (left) and Steven Gill (right) of Scotland rolled the 11th and 12th 300 game in the history of European Championships in the second game of squad 2. Truus sandwiched two games under 200 (193 and 187) around the 300, but s strong finish (231, 243 and 258) propelled him into fourth place.
With his perfecto, Truus became the first bowler ever to roll multiple 300 games at European Championships. His first came in 2011 in Munich, Germany.
With squads 3 and 4 yet to bowl on Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. and 1.45 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), the other 102 bowlers of squads 1 and 2 are already out of the race for the Singles medals. The top 4 after the preliminaries will determine the champion starting at 6 p.m. with the semi-finals.
Joonas Jähi of Finland hit 1400 on the nose but was the first player out in fifth place. Defending singles champion Thomas Larsen of Denmark led squad 2 after five games, but had to settle for seventh place with 1376 after finishing with his low game of 205.
The 2016 Men’s European Championships will be held from August 17-28 at Bowling Stones, a 36-lane QubicaAMF-equipped bowling center in Brussels, Belgium. The nine-day competition started on Saturday, August 20, and culminates with the masters finals on Sunday, August 28.
Record 218 athletes from 37 European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) member federations – Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and the host country Belgium – participate in the event.
Each team consists of maximum six players, who compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in singles, doubles, trios, five-player teams, all-events and masters.
Singles, doubles, trios and team events features six games preliminaries with the top 4 advancing to the playoffs in one-game format, seeded 1 to 4 according to their position in the prelims. No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3. The winners bowl for gold and silver and the losers share the bronze medals.
The top three players with the highest 24-game total (combined scores in the singles, doubles and team preliminaries) receive the medals in all-events.
The top 24 in all-events advance to single-elimination masters match play in best-of-three games format. The top 8 receive one bye.
In each round, the highest seeded player bowls the lowest seeded player, the second-highest seeded player bowls the second-lowest seeded player, and so on. Winners advance and losers will be eliminated. The remaining two players bowl for gold and silver and the losers of the semifinals share the bronze medals.
The 2016 Men’s European Championships serve as the qualifying event for male bowlers competing in the X World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. The top 5 countries with the two highest positioned players in All-Events qualify for the World Games. The bowling competition will be held July 20-24 at Sky Bowling.
The Championships also serve as the qualifier for the 2017 World Championships for men and women, to be held at Cozmo Bowling Center in Salmiya, Kuwait Dec. 4-18. The top 12 men’s teams in Brussels will qualify for the combined World Championships.
Photos courtesy of Gisela Göbel.
2016 Men’s European Championships – Singles Preliminaries after Squad 2/4
Top 4 players advance to the medal round