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Bernice Lim defeats Jesper Svensson to win AIK International Tournament

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Bernice Lim became the 25th woman in the history of the European Bowling Tour to win an EBT title when the Singaporean defeated top-seeded Jesper Svensson of Sweden in the title match of the 38th AIK International Tournament, powered by Track, Sunday evening at Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, 240-233.

Lim (right with the trophy), who received eight pins handicap, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events, earned 60.000 Swedish Kronor or approximately 6.110 Euro for accomplishing the feat. Women have won at least one title in each season since the inception of the EBT in the year 2000 and 34 titles overall.

Pictured above from right: Bernice Lim, Shalin Zulkifli, Jesper Svensson and Richard Hanson, Ebonite International.

Svensson, at the age of 22, owns eight EBT titles along with seven PBA titles. He pocketed 30.000 SEK for second place.

As the European ranking starts from scratch each season, Lim and Svensson will be the first leaders in the 2018 EBT women’s and men’s ranking.

In the opening match of the stepladder finals, Lim, seeded second, ousted Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia, seeded third, by six pins, 226-220. Zulkifli received 20.000 SEK for third place.

The 38th edition of the AIK International Tournament drew 455 players, 359 men and 96 women, from 20 countries. One-hundred players survived the qualifying cut.

PWBA champion Daria Pajak (right) of Poland averaged over 230 Saturday evening at Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, to lead the semi-final round of the 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track with 1435 total, including eight pins handicap each game.

Kristoffer Persson and tournament director Ian Robinson (left), Sweden were the only other players who reached the 1400-plateau in second and third place with 1413 and 1409.

The top 12, including six women and six men, advanced to Final Round 1. Kevin Lindbladh of Sweden hit the cutoff number for 12th place with 1333 or an average of 222.17 for six games.

Dominic Barrett (right) of England, who owns 13 European Bowling Tour titles along with five Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles, fired games of 290, 247, 212, 214, 225 and 256 for 1444 (240.67) to lead the top 24 bowlers into the second round.

Shayna Ng of Singapore and Anna Andersson of Sweden were close behind in second and third place with 1431 and 1419, respectively, including women’s handicap.

Four-time EBT champion and two-time PBA titlist Thomas Larsen of Denmark was the fourth player in this round who cracked the 1400-bar with 1413.

Defending Ballmaster Open champion Daphne Tan (left) of Singapore missed the seventh perfecto of the tournament by a whisker, posting 299 in game three en route to make the second cut in eighth place with 1391, including 41 pins handicap (only one pin handicap for the 299, maximum score is 300).

Oliver Dahlgren of Sweden was the cut with 1326 (221.00).

2017 Southeast Asian Games masters gold medalists Rafiq Ismail (right) and Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia cracked the 1500-bar in Round 2 to lead the top 16 players into Round Three with the six-game totals being carried forward.

Ismail led the round with 1523 total, an average of 253.83, including games of 277, 248, 236, 249, 289 and 224. Zulkifli (left), who won the gold medal with the Malaysian women’s team at the 2017 World Bowling Championships, toppled 1460 pins (243.33 scratch) and added 49 pins handicap for 1508. Third place belonged to Daria Pajak with 1482 total.

EBT champion Markus Jansson (right) of Sweden closed his series with the seventh 300 game of the tournament to jump into sixth place with 1416. Niclas Lindholm of Sweden took the 16th and last place to advance with 1371 and an average of 228.50.

While Ismail struggled in the third round, Zulkifli added games of 218, 267, 257 and 191 to take the lead with 2473 10-game total, including handicap. Jesper Svensson (left), a two-handed lefty from Sweden who at the age of 22 owns eight EBT titles along with seven PBA titles, averaged 246.50 for four games to leap three spots into second place with 2424.

Four women and four men made the cut to the top 8. Joining Zulkifli on the women’s side were Pajak, Bernice Lim of Singapore and Ghislaine Van Der Tol, Netherlands, the only woman who has won four EBT titles.

Svensson was joined by his compatriots Lindholm, Filip Wilhelmsson, and Ismail, who beat out Jansson despite a final 166 game for the eighth and last spot to advance by four pins, 2313 to 2309.

Svensson (right), the 2016 Rookie Sportsman of the Year in Sweden, averaged 243.25 for the last four games (267, 258, 223 and 225) to earn the no. 1 seed for the three-player stepladder finals with 3397 total, an overall average of 242.64 for 14 games.

Lim (right) of Singapore almost matched Svensson’s score as the national team member toppled 961 pins and added 32 pins handicap to leap from sixth to second place with 3331.

Zulkifli managed only 792 (198 average) and 824 including handicap but secured third place with 3297 total. Her team mate Ismail was 46 pins back in fourth place with 3251.

The 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track, which will be held from December 26th through January 7th at 28-lane Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, is the season-opening event of the 2018 European Bowling Tour.

A newcomer on the Tour, the “silver” level tournament offers total prize money of 475.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), roughly 48.000 Euro or 57,000 U.S. Dollar, including extra prizes for women, seniors, juniors and under 200 average bowlers.

The champion will walk away with the 60.000 SEK top prize (6.070€ / $7,195), with 30.000 SEK going to the runner-up and 20.000 SEK to the third place finisher. Low to cash is 56th place, worth 4.500 SEK (455€ / $540).

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) ran from Dec. 26 through January 7. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 100 players survived the qualifying cut, including the top 74 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 4 “early birds” (squads 1-3), who were not among the top 38; top 4 women, top 4 juniors (born in 1997 or later), top 4 seniors (born in 1968 or earlier) and top 4 bowlers with a certified average under 200, who were not among the top 74; plus the top 3 players each from Turbo G5 (highest qualifying game #5) and Turbo G6 (highest qualifying game #6).

The top 8 qualifiers go directly to Final Round 2, while qualifiers 9-38, the four “early birds” and the Turbo G5 and G6 leaders advance to Final Round 1. The remaining 56 finalists bowled six games starting from scratch in the semi-final round on Saturday evening with the top 12 advancing to Final Round 1 on Sunday morning.

Final Round 1 and 2 are also six-game rounds beginning from scratch (no carryover pins), which trim the field to 32 and then 16 players. Round 2 pins carry over to the finals.

Final Round 3 and 4 are four-game rounds after which the field is cut to the top 8 and then three players, who determine the champion in a stepladder final. No. 3 takes on no. 2 for the right to bowl the top-seed for the title.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 560.000 Euro.

The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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38th AIK International Tournament – Stepladder Finals

Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden (Dec. 26 – Jan. 7, 2018)

Championship Round:
1. Bernice Lim, Singapore, 466 (2 games), 60.000 SEK (6.110 Euro)
2. Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 233 (1 game), 30.000 SEK
3. Shalin Zulkifli, Malaysia, 220 (1 game), 20.000 SEK

Playoff Results:
Semi-final Match: No. 2 Lim def. No. 3 Zulkifli, 226-220
Championship: Lim def. No. 1 Svensson, 240-233.

38th AIK International – Final Round 4 Results

Top 3 advance to the stepladder finals.

38th AIK International – Final Round 3 Results

Top 8 advance to the fourth round.

38th AIK International – Final Round 2 Results

Top 16 advance to the third round.

300 games (1) – Markus Jansson.

38th AIK International – Final Round 1 Results

Top 24 advance to the second round.

38th AIK International – Semi-final Results

Top 12 advance to Final Round 1

Author: Herbert Bickel
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