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Alexey Drozhbin, Jenny Wegner crack top 8 in Sofia International Open

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Alexey Drozhbin of Russia and Sweden’s Jenny Wegner moved into the top 8 in squad 18 in the qualifying of the 9th Sofia International Open 2018 currently underway at bowling center Joy Station in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Drozhbin (featured photo) led the four squads on Wednesday with 1446 pinfall total and an average of 241 to receive a 100 Euro bonus and to jump into fourth place in the overall standings. He had games of 222, 288, 246, 234, 256 and 200.

Wegner (left), who won her first European Bowling Tour title in the Brunswick Euro Challenge in March, used high games of 256 and 248 and four games between 209 and 231 for 1370 scratch, an average of 228.33, and added 48 bonus pins to leap into sixth place with 1418.

The 2018 EBT point ranking leader is the best of 17 women in the field. Alexey Parshukov (right) of Russia leads the field of 133 players from 22 countries since squad 3 with 1522 and an average of 253.67.

German junior national team member Sidney Schroschk (left) remained in second place with 1486 and was followed by Mehmet Kaya of Turkey, who rolled his high series of 1432 in squad 1.

With another 14 squads to come, it takes an average of 235 to make the top 8, who will bypass the first two rounds of the finals.

Finland’s Lauri Sipilä (right) and Otso Ari Kahila led squad 19 to position themselves in the group of eight players who will earn one bye. Sipilä became the 10th player who surpassed the 1400-mark by one pin to move into 10th place with 1401 with Kahila just two pins back in 11th place with 1399.

18th place Maksim Eremenko (left) of Russia rolled the fourth 300 game of the tournament in the first game of his 1336 series in squad 19, but was unable to improve his high series of 1388.

His compatriot Maxim Okokorov (right), who led squad 20 with 1338, also had a higher series before and sits in 20th place with 1385.

The first squad on Wednesday and 17th overall was led by Georgi Dimov of Bulgaria, who leaped one spot into 32nd place with 1347.

The score to make the cut in 44th place cracked the 1300-bar. Tihomir Nikolov of Bulgaria now holds the last spot to advance from the overall leader board with 1315 and an average of 219.17. For the records, that is 49 pins higher than last year’s cut (1266).

Qualifying continues Thursday, Oct. 25, with squads 22-25 (squad 21 has been canceled) scheduled to start at 9 a.m., 1, 5 and 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

The 9th Sofia International Open 2018, a popular non-European Bowling Tour event, will be held from Oct. 20-28 at bowling center Joy Station, a 20-laner in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. The tournament offers total prize fund of 55.000 Euro with 7.000 Euro going to the winner and a last-to-cash payout of 350 Euro for 56th place.

Qualifying of the Sofia Open started on Saturday, Oct. 20 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 27, with the final squad 35 scheduled for 9.30 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300).

Total 56 players advance to the finals on Sunday, Oct. 28, including top 44 qualifiers, top 6 of squad 1-16 standings, top 2 of squad 17-25 standings, and top 4 of the Desperado Squad. Top 8 qualifiers earn two byes and qualifiers 9-16 receive a first-round bye.

The other 40 players advance to the first of four 4-game rounds (rounds 1-3 starting from scratch). The field will be trimmed to 36, 20, and then 10 players who determine the stepladder finalists in the last four-game round with the pinfall from Round 3 being carried forward. The top 4 with the highest eight-game total bowl for the title in a traditional stepladder final.

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9th Sofia International Open 2018 – Qualifying Standings after 21/35 Squads

Top 44 qualifiers, top 6 from squads conducted Oct. 20-23 and top 2 from squads conducted Oct. 24 & 25 who finish outside the top 44, and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.


300 games (4) – Mehmet Kaya, Alexandru Arbanas, Ramon Hilferink, Maksim Eremenko.

Herbert Bickel

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