Defending champion Martin Larsen of Sweden defeated Juhani Tonteri of Finland in single-elimination best-of-three game format, two-games-to-one, to successfully defend the Masters title in the Men’s European Championships Sunday at bowling center Bowling Stones in Brussels, Belgium.
Pictured above from left, Juhani Tonteri (silver), Martin Larsen (gold), Alex de Vries (bronze) and Johnny Spil (bronze).
Tonteri, who finished 12th in all-events averaging 224.13 for 24 games to earn berth into master match play, was just one win away from the gold medal after winning the opening game, 236-224. Larsen (left), who earned the bronze medal in all-events to miss the first round this morning, leveled the match with a 212-189 win in game two.
The deciding third game was an usual low-scoring affair which Larsen won by six pins, 180 to 174.
The semi-final matches also went the distance. Larsen and Tonteri rallied from a 0-1 deficit and defeated Dutchmen Johnny Spil and Alex de Vries to advance to the gold medal match.
Tonteri, who lost the first game, 257-268, rebounded with back-to-back wins, 269-219 and 234-225, to eliminate De Vries, 2-1. Larsen fell to Spil in the opening game, 210-257, then threw two huge games and flew past his opponent, 279-189 and 258-208. The Dutch bowlers shared the bronze medal.
One of the highlights in the masters competition came in the Round of 16, when Jesper Svensson (right) of Sweden fired a record 824 series (289, 256, 279) to send John Wells to the sidelines, despite the fact that the Englishman averaged over 250 (753 – 218, 269, 266), two-games-to-one. Svensson fell to Tonteri in the quarterfinals, 2-1.
Like last year’s Men’s European Championships, Denmark (3), Finland (2) and Sweden (1) shared the gold medals. The Danish team was the No. 1 in medals with three gold, one silver and one bronze. Finland was second with two gold and two silver medals and was followed by Sweden in third place with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Another five countries, Germany, England, Netherlands, Norway and Austria, shared the remaining nine medals.
The 2016 Men’s European Championships were held from August 17-28 at Bowling Stones, a 36-lane QubicaAMF-equipped bowling center in Brussels, Belgium. The nine-day competition started on Saturday, August 20, and culminated with the masters finals on Sunday, August 28.
Record 218 athletes from 37 European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) member federations – Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and the host country Belgium – participated in the event.
Each team consisted of maximum six players, who competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in singles, doubles, trios, five-player teams, all-events and masters.
Singles, doubles, trios and team events featured six games preliminaries with the top 4 advancing to the playoffs in one-game format, seeded 1 to 4 according to their position in the prelims. No. 1 bowled No. 4 and No. 2 took on No. 3. The winners bowled for gold and silver and the losers shared the bronze medals.
The top three players with the highest 24-game total (combined scores in the singles, doubles and team preliminaries) received the medals in all-events.
The top 24 in all-events advanced to single-elimination masters match play in best-of-three games format. The top 8 received one bye.
In each round, the highest seeded player bowled the lowest seeded player, the second-highest seeded player bowled the second-lowest seeded player, and so on. Winners advanced and losers were eliminated. The remaining two players bowled for gold and silver and the losers of the semifinals shared the bronze medals.
The 2016 Men’s European Championships served as the qualifying event for male bowlers competing in the X World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. The top 5 countries with the two highest positioned players in All-Events qualified for the World Games.
Those five countries were Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Germany . The bowling competition at the X World Games will be held July 20-24 at Sky Bowling.
The Championships also served as the qualifier for the 2017 World Championships for men and women, to be held at Cozmo Bowling Center in Salmiya, Kuwait Dec. 4-18. The top 15 men’s teams in Brussels qualified for the combined World Championships.
Those countries were Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, England, Austria, Norway, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Russia, Belgium and Wales.
Photos courtesy of Gisela Göbel.
2016 MEC Masters – Medal Tally
Finland defeats Sweden to defend Team title in Brussels
Sweden sets new record on the way to the top seed
Israel leads as A squad has completed Team preliminaries
Sweden leads Team preliminaries after Day 1
Swedes average 225 to take early lead in MEC Team event
Denmark escapes a couple close calls to win gold in Trios
Norway shoots big last game to win Trios preliminaries
Germany, Sweden, Finland crack top 4 in trios
Danish trio sets the pace as Squad 2 has completed preliminaries
Belgium leads after Day 1 in Trios preliminaries
Belgium takes over lead in Doubles after Squad2/3
Italy sets the tone in Squad 1 Trios after three games
Jähi, Palermaa cruise to the Doubles title
Finland, Denmark, Germany (2) to bowl for MEC Doubles title
Finns Palermaa, Jähi shoot into Doubles lead
Agerbo, Mortensen continue to lead Doubles preliminaries
Agerbo, Mortensen lead MEC Doubles prelims after Squad1/4
Jesper Agerbo shoots big games to win Singles gold
Jesper Agerbo leads Singles preliminaries after squad 2/4
2016 Men’s European Championships ready to go
2016 MEC Masters – Championship
2016 MEC Masters – Semi-finals
2016 MEC Masters – Quarterfinals
2016 MEC Masters – Round of 16
2016 MEC Masters – Round of 24