Finland's Mika Koivuniemi leads a field of 30 players into the finals at 11th Bahrain Open



    Top six players of Squads A & B remain atop the leaderboard to earn three byes; Colombia's Manuel Otalora paces Squad C-E bowlers to land in seventh place; Hong Kong's Rickle Kam hits cutoff number with 3420 (213.75 average)

    2013BOMikaKoivuniemi2.jpg2013BODominicBarrett3.jpgMika Koivuniemi (pictured left) of Finland finished the four-day qualifying of the 11th Kingdom of Bahrain International Open atop the 94-player leaderboard to lead a group of 30 players into the finals on Thursday and Friday at Ozone Entertainment Center in Sitra, Bahrain.

    The eleven-time PBA titlist and two-time PBA Player of the Year shot a perfect game in each of the two eight-game qualifying blocks to win the qualifying with 3915 total and an average of 244.69 for 16 games.

    PBA champion Dominic Barrett (right) of England was 109 pins behind in second place with 3806 and was closely followed by Ryan Lalisang, Indonesia, with 3803. Paul Moor, England, was fourth with 3722. All four players bowled in Squad B.

    2013BOMahmoodAlAttar.jpg2013BOManuelOtalora2.jpgSquad A leader Mahmood Al-Attar, UAE, took fifth place with 3673. As there was no local bowler in the top 6, ninth-place Fawaz Abdulla of Bahrain (3615) was seeded in sixth place. The top 6 will earn three byes and will automatically advance to Round 5.

    Manuel Otalora (right) of Colombia led Squad D with the sixth-highest 3658 total, an average of 228.63, but had to settle for seventh place, which costs him one bye. Otalora was unable to match the vigorous pace he maintained during the first block (1949, 243.63) and fell out of the top 5 behind a 1709 series (213.63) on Wednesday.

    Defending champion Osku Palermaa of Finland made the first cut in tenth place with 3595.

    2013BOTonyRanta.jpg2013BOKhaledAlDubyyan.jpgFresh off his victory in the H.H. Emir's Cup 2013 in Qatar, Tony Ranta (left) of Finland led Squad C with 3576 total (223.50), god for 13th place overall. Ranta, who missed the second group (places 7-12; two byes) by 13 pins, topped the group of players (places 13-18) who will bypass the first round of the finals (Round 2 overall).

    Joining Ranta in the third group was former World Ranking Masters champion Khaled Al-Dubyyan (right) of Kuwait, who led Squad E with 3533 (220.81) to help grab 18th place. Hong Kong's Rickle Kam (below left) hit the cutoff number for 27th place with 3420 (213.75 average).

    2013BORickleKam.jpgJoining the top 27 in the finals were the next two local bowlers, Ahmed Amin Al-Awahdi (3419) and Taha Ebrahim (3417), and the best Bahraini women, Noora Sultan (3143), who receives seven pins handicap each game.

    The bowlers seeded 19th to 30th will start the finals on Thursday, March 7, at 10 a.m. Arabia Standard Time.

    Final Round 2-4 consist of six games scratch with the top six players advancing to the next round.

    The remaining twelve players bowl a final six-game Block in Round 5 to determine the top three players who will bowl for the title and the 7,500 Bahraini Dinar (approx. US$19.385) first place check.


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    Final Qualifying Standings - Squads A-E after 16 games

    The top 27 qualifiers, the next two Bahrainis (places 28 & 29 and the top-ranked Bahraini woman (30th place) advance to the finals.


    * indicates female bowler (scores including seven pins handicap)


    Block 2 Results (Squad C, D & E only)


    * indicates female bowler (scores including seven pins handicap)