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Strong finish propels Japan’s Futaba Imai into Women’s Single Finals

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Asians Hong Haeni from South Korea, Futaba Imai of Japan, along with Chan Shuk Han of Hong Kong and Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark qualified for the medal round in women’s singles at the 2017 World Bowling Championships for men and women in Las Vegas.

Pictured above from left: Futaba Imai, Hong Haeni, Chan Shuk Han and Mai Ginge Jensen.

In her first appearance at a World Championship, Haeni (left) averaged of 221.67 for six games to lead the 176-player field with 1330 total en route to earn the no. 1 seed for the medal round.

Futaba Imai (right) of Japan was the lone athlete of a star-studded second squad who bowled her way into the top 4. Imai had only 594 after three games, but finished with 279, 213 and 236 for the field-best 728 series to jump into second place with 1322.

Imai pushed back Mai Ginge Jensen of Denmark and Chan Shuk Han of Hong Kong to third place with 1312 apiece. The tie was broken in a one-ball roll-off, which was contested immediately after the conclusion of the second squad.

After a 10-minute warm-up for both athletes on lanes 5 and 6, both had one shot each on lanes 3 and 4 before the roll-off began.

Starting with Han (left), both players struck on lane 3 and – in revised order – also on lanes 4. While Han added another strike on lane 3, Jensen left a 9-pin standing on her third attempt.

Therefore Han will face Imai in the semi-finals while Jensen (right) will meet top-seeded Haeni in the other semifinal match.

Liza Del Rosario (left), Philippines, Shion Izumune of Japan and Maria Rodriguez of Colombia were between 17 and 23 pins off the pace for the top 4 heading into the last game of squad 2, but all missed the cut and failed advance.

Izumune (right) closed with 209 but fell 14 pins short to finish in fifth place with 1298. Del Rosario was just three pins back in sixth place with 1295 and was followed by Rodriguez, who slipped to seventh place with 1281.

Rodriguez’ team mate Juliana Franco was just one pin back in eighth place with 1281. Putty Armein (left) of Indonesia, who was in fourth place in the first squad, fell to ninth place with 1272.

The top 4 will return on Monday, Nov. 27, at 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) for the medal round to be held simultaneously with the men. Haeni will bowl Jensen and Imai will bowl Han in the semi-finals.

The winners will bowl for gold and silver while the semi-final losers share the bronze medal.

The World Bowling Championships for men and women will be held from Nov. 25 through Dec. 4 at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

The Championships will award medals in six disciplines in each division – singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and masters.

Bowlingdigital will provide onsite coverage of the combined World Championships including reports, photos and results after each round commencing with women’s singles preliminaries on Saturday, Nov. 25, all the way through to masters match play on Monday, Dec. 4, completed in the late afternoon.

World Bowling provides governance to international bowling and is made up of 134 bowling international federations. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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