of Sweden became the third girl to roll a perfect game in World Bowling Youth Championships competition, and it gave her just enough of a surge to secure the top seed for the singles semifinals at the 2016 event.
Persson’s (right) 1,390 six-game total Tuesday at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska, a 231.67 average, landed her just ahead of local collegiate standouts and Junior Team USA members Julia Bond (1,383) and Gazmine Mason (1,340), who hail from Aurora, Illinois, and Cranston, Rhode Island, respectively, but reside in Lincoln as members of the University of Nebraska bowling team.
Girls’ finalists: L-R Bond, Persson, Mason and Chin.
Malaysia’s Victoria Chin finished the day with a 235 game, the highest final effort of all 79 female competitors, to steal the last spot in the semifinals by just two pins with 1,314. Chin will face Persson in Wednesday’s semifinals, while Bond and Mason face off, guaranteeing the United States a spot in the gold-medal match.
“It’s really amazing, since I didn’t expect it,” said Persson, a 19-year-old right-hander making her first World Youth Championships appearance. “I was just trying to take it one shot at a time and just make good shots. It feels really good to start this well and make the medal round. We’ll see how far it takes me.”
The first 300 on the girls’ side at the World Youth Championships was by Mexico’s Daniela Alvarado in 2008, and Bernice Lim of Singapore added her name to the list in 2012.
Persson and Bond both competed on the earlier of the two qualifying squads Tuesday, and Bond stepped up in her final frame needing a double to move around Persson in the standings. Although she was unable to notch the second strike, she’s excited about finding success in her own World Youth Championships debut.
“This means a lot because this is my first world event, and it’s special to be here and experience it with such a great group of teammates,” Bond (pictured left with teammate Gazmine Mason, right) said.
“There’s a few shots I’d like back, but it was nice to bowl well and be able to advance. It’s a little sad that not both of us will be able to get what we want in singles, but it’s great to know Team USA will get to bowl for the gold. We’re both competitors, so it will be a good match, but it will not change our relationship as teammates and friends.”
The singles semifinals will take place live on BowlTV on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, followed immediately by the girls’ and boys’ finals. Semifinal winners will bowl for the gold, while semifinal losers share the bronze medals.
Competition on the boys’ side also kicked off Tuesday at Sun Valley Lanes, and the first of three qualifying squads set the pace for the 129-player field.
Aseel Alroomi (right) of Kuwait led the way with a 1,423 total, an average of more than 237, which included a 268 start and 279 finish. He was followed by Ryota Yakuwa of Japan (1,302), Lee Ho Hyeon of Korea (1,284) and Finnish two-hander Santtu Tahvanainen with 1,279, a 213.17 average.
Boys’ Squad A top 4: L-R Yakuwa, Alroomi, Lee and Tahvanainen.
The rest of the boys will hit the lanes Wednesday at 10 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. Eastern, vying for one of the four spots in the semifinals.
The 14th World Bowling Youth Championships includes more than 200 competitors from 37 countries, and bowlers will compete for medals in five events – singles, doubles, team, all-events and masters.
Bowling fans from around the globe will be able to watch the competition live on BOWL.com’s BowlTV with continued coverage of all qualifying, semifinal and final rounds. The complete live-streaming schedule (all times Eastern) can be found here.
For complete information on the World Youth Championships, click here.
Photos courtesy of ABF Online.
Nebraska standouts ready for 2016 World Bowling Youth Championships
Junior Team USA members selected for 2016 World Youth Championships
14th World Bowling Youth Championships – Boys Singles (Squad 1/3)
Players with position, country and 6-game total. Top 4 after three squads will advance to the playoffs.
14th World Bowling Youth Championships – Girls Singles (Squad 2/2)
Players with position, country and 6-game total. Top 4 advance to the playoffs.