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Maria Bulanova retains 35-pin lead after women’s Round 1 at ECC

2016ECCMariaBulanova3Qualifying leader and defending champion Maria Bulanova of Russia retained a 35-pin lead after the first round at the 39th European Champions Cup to lead the top 8 women into the second round Sunday at Bowland Bowling Center in Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Pictured above are the top 3 of Round 1: L-R Cajsa Wegner, Nicole Sanders and Maria Stampe.

2016ECCCajsaWegner3The 18-year-old defending champion (right), who averaged over 232.25 over 16 qualifying games, posted the fifth highest 1767 series, an average of 220.88, finishing with a huge 267 game to hold off Cajsa Wegner (left) of Sweden with 5483 total and an average of 228.46 for 24 games.

The younger sister of newly-crowned World Cup champion Jenny Wegner remained in second place with 5448 (227.00) but narrowed the gap from 107 to 35 pins after finishing the third eight-game block with 245, 268, 231 and 259 for the field-best 1839 series, an average of 229.88.

2016ECCNicoleSanders3Block 1 leader Nicole Sanders (right) of the Netherlands stayed in third place with 5383 (224.29). Sanders used the second-best 1824 series to widen her lead to fourth place to 272 pins. With only four games to go before the cut to the top 4, Bulanova, Wegner and Sanders have practically booked their spots for the semi-finals.

2016ECCSoleneGoron2Solene Goron (left) of France maintained fourth place with 1703 and 5111 (212.96), but the next four players are 75 pins or less off the pace for the last spot to make the semi-finals.

2016ECCNadineGeisslerNadine Geißler (right) of Germany is just 29 pins behind Goron in fourth place with 5082 and was followed by Heidi Thorstensen of Norway (6th; 5041) and Petra Stankova of Slovakia (7th; 5038).

2016ECCDanniHopcroft2Danni Hopcroft (left) of England finished her set with 256 and 269 to jump from 11th to eighth place and to take the last spot for the second round with 5036 and an average of 209.83.

2016ECCMariaStampeMaria Stampe (right) of Denmark, who bowled the highest game (279) and the third-highest series (1816; 227.00 avg.) had to settle for ninth place with 4990 total.

The top 8 women 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 women’s final to follow at 1 p.m.

2016ECCLogoThe 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.

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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