Qualifying leader Jaroslav Lorenc
from the host country Czech Republic started the first round of the men’s finals at the 39thth European Champions Cup with a near-perfect 299 game en route to widen his lead to 110 pins as the field was cut to the top eight players Saturday afternoon at Bowland Bowling Center in Olomouc.
Lorenc (right), who averaged 242.94 over 16 qualifying games, added 258, 245, 193, 206, 218, 226 and 244 for 1889 (236.13) and 5776 total, an average of 240.67 for 24 games.
Pictured above are the top 3 after Round 1: L-R James Gruffman, Jaroslav Lorenc and Antonino Fiorentino.
James Gruffman (left) of Sweden, who is looking to win his second ECC title after 2012, maintained second place with 1809 and 5666 total (236.08). Italian two-handed player, Antonino Fiorentino (right), had the third-highest 1842 series Saturday to leap one spot into third place with 5568 (232.00).
Hadley Morgan (left) of England was next to Fiorentino with 1821 to move from fifth to fourth place with 5519 (229.96). Ukrainian Valentyn Kucherenko slipped two spots from third to fifth place with 5498 (229.08) after a 1751 series.
Starting the day in 11th place, defending ECC champion Joonas Jähi (right) of Finland posted the highest 1892 series, including games of 280, 258, 222, 255, 183, 267, 223 and 204, an average of 236.50 to jump into sixth place with 5441 (226.71).
Seven-time European champion Jesper Agerbo (left) of Denmark had 1776 to leap one spot into seventh place with 5404 (225.17).
Rounding out the top 8, who advanced to the next stage, was Arnar David Jonsson (right) of Iceland with 5391 and an average of 224.63. Jonsson suffered three consecutive games under 200 on the high-scoring pattern but managed a huge 279 fifth game that helped him to make the second cut with a 1708 series.
The top 8 men will bowl four more games on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Central European Time (CET) before the cut to the top 4 who will determine the champion in the best-of-three games format. The men’s and women’s semi-finals (No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3) will start at 11.30 a.m. with the men’s final to follow at 2.30 p.m.
The 39th European Champions Cup will take place from October 24-31 at 18-lane Bowland Bowling Center in Olomouc, Czech Republic featuring the men’s and women’s national champions or point ranking leaders of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) member federations.
Men and women compete in separate divisions. All players, including defending ECC champions, Maria Bulanova of Russia and Joonas Jähi of Finland, will roll two eight-game blocks of qualifying Wednesday through Friday on a 42 feet lane conditioning pattern.
The top 16 men and 16 women will carry over their qualifying pins into Round 1. After another eight games the top 8 will advance to Round 2. Pinfall will continue to carry over. Those 8 will bowl four more games to cut to the top 4 who will determine the champion in best-of-three games matches. In the semi-finals, No. 1 will meet No. 4 and No. 2 will take on No. 3.
Full European Champions Cup rules can be found in the ETBF Constitution (Chapter 7; pages 47 and 48). For more details on the 39th ECC 2016 read the Bulletin.
Photos Max Bulanov.
Maria Bulanova retains 35-pin lead after women’s Round 1 at ECC
Lorenc overtakes Gruffman to win men’s qualifying at ECC
Maria Bulanova leads top 16 women into Round 1
James Gruffman averages over 240 to lead men’s qualifying
Nicole Sanders sets the pace in women’s qualifying at European Champions Cup
39th European Champions Cup kicks off today in Olomouc, Czech Republic
Joonas Jähi, Maria Bulanova shoot big games to win 38th European Champions Cup
2016 ECC – Men’s Division after Round 1
Top 8 after 24 games advance to the second round
2016 ECC – Men’s Round 1 Results