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England, Sweden win the prestigious team titles at EYC

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The girls from England and the boys from Sweden (pictured above) won the prestigious team gold medals in the 30th European Youth Championships Friday at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

The girls’ gold medal match went into overtime as Isabel Allen, Lorna Scott, Natasja Ailes and Mia Bewley of England tied the foursome from the host country, Elice Piksilä, Teea Mäkelä, Vilma Salo and Essi Pakarinen, 750-750.

England tied Finland in the first one-ball team roll-off, 38-38, and wrapped up the title with a 38-34 win in the second roll-off. The Finnish girls had to settle for the silver medal.

Team Finland from left to right: Essi Pakarinen, Vilma Salo, coach Jarmo Ahokas, Elice Piksilä and Teea Mäkelä.

In the semi-finals, Finland topped Denise Blankenzee, Sharon Rietveld, Bianca Brommer and Beaudine Kriele of The Netherlands, 756-729, while England eliminated Sweden’s Hanna Engberg, Amanda Gadd, Ellen Ekholm and Mathilda Tidbeck, 755-723.

The Netherlands and Sweden each got a bronze medal.

Team Sweden from left to right: Filip Thelander, Robin Skans, William Svensson, Emanuel Jonsson and coach Johan Ekström.

In the boys’ finale, Emanuel Jonsson, Filip Thelander, William Svensson and Robin Skans of Sweden bowled their second big team game in the boys’ finals to defeat Finland’s Niko Oksanen, Pyry Puharinen, Jesse Ahokas and Lassi Aalto, 937-814.

It was the first gold medal for Sweden in the team event since 2013, when two-handed left-hander Jesper Svensson was on the team, who later became the first player to win five Professional Bowlers Association Tour titles by age 21. 2014 Team champion Finland earned the second consecutive silver medal after Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2016.

Team Finland from left to right: Niko Oksanen, Pyry Puharinen, Jesse Ahokas and Lassi Aalto.

In their semi-final match against Roman Karlík, Alex Basala, Dávid Vilina and Tomáš Vrabec of Slovakia, the Finns advanced with an 889-832 win. The Swedes made quick work of Jonas H. Iversen, Niklas J. Sørensen, Mathias G. Ankerdal and Jeppe Jakobsen ousting the Danes with a huge 948-817 win.

Slovakia and Denmark shared the bronze medals.

The 19 boys’ teams and the 9 girls’ teams bowled six games preliminaries, three games on Thursday and three games on Friday, to cut to the top 4 teams who advanced to the medal round. No. 1 met No. 4 and No. 2 faced No. 3 in the semi-finals. The winner bowled for gold and silver and the losers shared the bronze medal.

Team Sweden from left to right: Hanna Engberg, Ellen Ekholm, Mathilda Tidbeck, Amada Gadd and coach Peter Ljung.

The Finnish girls posted the highest three-games series on the first day (2439) and on the second day (2504) to lead the preliminaries and to earn the No. 1 seed for the medal round with 4943 total and an average of 205.96.

Team Netherlands from left to right: Beaudine Kriele, Biance Brommer, Sharon Rietveld, Denise Blankenzee and coach Peter van Zijp.

Piksilä led the team with 1295 and was followed by Mäkelä (1250), Salo (1206) and Pakarinen (1192). No other country averaged over 200 as a team.

Trailing the Finns by 165 pins was Sweden with 4778 (199.08), with England further 153 pins behind in third place with 4625 (192.71). The Dutch girls took the fourth and last spot to advance with 4616 (192.33). Fifth place Denmark was almost 300 pins off the pace for the medal round with 4339 (180.79).

Maria Koshel of Russia continued to lead in girls’ all-events (total pinfall in doubles, team and singles preliminaries) with 2502 or an average of 208.50 for 12 games. 15-year-old Hanna Engberg of Sweden leaped three spots into second place with 2461.

Denise Blankenzee from The Netherlands used a 1291 series to move from eighth to third place with 2448. Rounding out the top 5 were Teea Mäkelä in fourth place with 2405 and Elice Piksilä, who jumped from 24th to fifth place with 2393 after posting the field-best 1295 series in the team event.

Team Slovakia from left to right: Tomas Vrabec, Roman Karlik, David Vilina, coach Costas Mitsingas and Alex Basala.

The Finnish boys held a comfortable 196-pin lead after the first day (2686) and maintained that lead with a solid 2453 on day two to pace the 19 boys’ teams after the preliminaries with 5139 and a 214.13 average as a team.

Oksanen led the Finns with 1384, Puharinen added 1321, Ahokas had 1290 and Aalto contributed 1144. The Finns had five games between 892 and 807 and a high game of 913.

Team Denmark from left to right: Niklas J. Sörensen, Jonas H. Iversen, Jeppe Jakobsen and Mathias G. Ankerdal.

Sweden posted the highest second block of 2569 to narrow the gap to 80 pins and to maintain second place with 5059 (210.79). Slovakia overtook Denmark in the last game to secure third place with 4827 (201.13), while the Danes slipped to fourth place with 4814 (200.58) due to a very low game of 652. Norway was 40 pins behind in fifth place with 4774 (198.92).

Defending all-events champion Niko Oksanen of Finland posted the highest individual six-game series for the second consecutive event to widen his lead in all-events to 168 pins with 2803 total and an average of 233.58 for twelve games.

His team mate in doubles, Jesse Ahokas remained in second place with 2635 (219.58), while Ronan van der Loo, Netherlands, jumped from 12th to third place with 2616 (218.00) thanks to a 1355 series in the team event.

Trailing the Dutch by 31 pins is the third Finn in the top 4, Pyry Puharinen, who sits in fourth place with 2585 (215.42). Rounding out the top 5 is Filip Thelander with 2552 (212.67).

Action shifts to boys’ singles competition on Friday. The 94 boys from 28 countries will be split into two squads which will start the six-game preliminaries at 9 a.m. and 1.15 p.m. Eastern European Summer Time. The semi-finals and the gold medal match will follow at 5.30 and 6 p.m. EEST. The singles preliminaries will also decide the medals in all-events and the 24 players, who will advance to match play masters on Easter Sunday.

The 30th European Youth Championships will be held from April 8-17, 2017 at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

The Championships drew 146 players, 94 boys and 52 girls, from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Finland.

Up to four boys and four girls per country who must not be born before September 1, 1998 will bowl in separate divisions for gold, silver and bronze medals in five disciplines: Singles, Doubles and four-player Teams, All-Events and Masters.

The 2017 EYC will be played on a 41-foot lane conditioning pattern with 25.485 mL volume oil total.

Singles, Doubles and Team preliminaries feature six games with the top 4 advancing to the medal round. No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3 in the semi-finals. The winners bowl for gold and silver while the losers share the bronze medal. All matches will be decided in one game.

The three players with highest 18-game total of the Singles, Doubles and Teams preliminaries earn the medals in All-Events. The top 24 in All-Events determine the Masters champion in single-elimination match play in best-of-three games format. Top 8 players receive a first-round bye.

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

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Team gold medalist England from left to right: Lorna Scott, Mia Bewley, Natasja Ailes and Isabel Allen.

30th EYC 2017 – Girls Team Medal Round

Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland (April 13, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. England (Isabel Allen, Lorna Scott, Natasja Ailes, Mia Bewley), 1505 (2 games)
2. Finland (Elice Piksilä, Teea Mäkelä, Vilma Salo, Essi Pakarinen), 1506 (2 games)
3. Sweden (Hanna Engberg, Amanda Gadd, Ellen Ekholm, Mathilda Tidbeck), 723 (1 game)
(tie) Netherlands (Denise Blankenzee, Sharon Rietveld, Bianca Brommer, Beaudine Kriele), 729 (1 game)

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1:
No. 1 Finland (Piksilä 224/Pakarinen 175/Salo 187/Mäkelä 170) def.
No 4 Netherlands (Brommer 161/Rietveld 210/Kriele 202/Blankenzee 156), 756-729
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 3 England (Scott 163/Allen 199/Ailes 208/Bewley 185) def.
No. 2 Sweden (Ekholm 165/Tidbeck 205/Gadd 168/Engberg 185), 755-723
Gold Medal Match:
Finland (Piksilä 189/Pakarinen 224/Salo 158/Mäkelä 179) def.
England (Scott 202/Allen 184/Ailes 171/Bewley 193), 38-34 in the second one-ball team roll-off after a 750-750 and 38-38 tie.

Team gold medalist Sweden from left to right: Robin Skans, Emanuel Jonsson, William Svensson and Filip Thelander.

30th EYC 2017 – Boys Team Medal Round

Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland (April 13, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Sweden (Emanuel Jonsson, Filip Thelander, William Svensson, Robin Skans), 1885 (2 games)
2. Finland (Niko Oksanen, Pyry Puharinen, Jesse Ahokas, Lassi Aalto), 1703 (2 games)
3. Slovakia (Roman Karlík, Alex Basala, Dávid Vilina, Tomáš Vrabec), 817 (1 game)
(tie) Denmark (Jonas H. Iversen, Niklas J. Sørensen, Mathias G. Ankerdal, Jeppe Jakobsen), 832 (1 game)

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1:
No. 1 Finland (Puharinen 191/Aalto 257/Ahokas 207/Oksanen 234) def.
No. 4 Denmark (Sørensen 169/Jakobsen 226/Ankerdal 216/Iversen 221), 889-832
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 2 Sweden (Skans 231/Jonsson 249/Svensson 234/Thelander 234) def.
No. 3 Slovakia (Vilina 186/Basala 233/Vrabec 171/Karlík 227), 948-817
Gold Medal Match:
Sweden (Skans 196/Jonsson 229/Svensson 268/Thelander 244) def.
Finland (Puharinen 178/Aalto 212/Ahokas 172/Oksanen 252), 937-814.

Team Finland from left to right: Vilma Salo, Elice Piksilä, back left Essi Pakarinen and Teea Mäkelä.

30th EYC 2017 – Girls Team Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round.

Team Finland from left to right: Pyry Puharinen, Jesse Ahokas, Niko Oksanen and Lassi Aalto.

30th EYC 2017 – Boys Team Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round.

30th EYC 2017 – Girls All-Events after 12 of 18 games

Top three earn the medals in All-Events; top 24 advance to Masters match play, top 8 earn one bye

30th EYC 2017 – Boys All-Events after 12 of 18 games

Top three earn the medals in All-Events; top 24 advance to Masters match play, top 8 earn one bye

Author: Herbert Bickel
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