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Belgian girls win gold in Doubles at European Youth Championships


Jolien Thys and Shinya Haest of Belgium used a flawless spare effort by Thy and a four-bagger by Haest to defeat Helene Johnsrud and Sofia Hultstedt of Norway, 404-345, to capture the gold medal in Girls’ Doubles Tuesday at the 30th European Youth Championships.

Thys (center, with coach Melissa Vallons, left), who had two strikes and eight spares, scored 191 at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland, while Haest (right), posted 213.

She started with a strike and three spares and rebounded from a single-pin miss with four consecutive strikes to put the match out of reach for the Norwegians, who had combined six opens.

Hulstedt (center, with coach Peppe Engstrøm, left), who had three strikes in a row from frame five and all three in the 10th frame, hit 200 on the nose and Johnsrud (right), who suffered four opens, including three splits, added 145 on the way to the silver medal.

In the semi-finals, the favorites from Russia and Sweden, who out averaged their opponents by 15 and 12 pins and more, respectively, were sidelined. The Norwegians won their match against top-seeded Maria Koshel and Daria Minenko (right, r-l) by a whisker as the Russians fell one point short of a tie, 389-388.

The Belgian girls matched that effort, but other than the Russians to win against second-seeded Mathilda Tidbeck and Hanna Engberg of Sweden, 388-349.

As the semi-final losers, Russia and Sweden shared the bronze medal.

The 24 doubles were split into two squads for six games of preliminaries after which the top 4 advanced to the medal round featuring one-game matches.

The top three duos came from the second squad. Heading into the last game, Russia and Sweden were tied for the lead at 2054. Koshel and Minenko closed the six-game block with 413, their fourth game over 400 (200 average), to earn the No. 1 seed with 2467 total and an average of 205.58.

Tidbeck and Engberg managed 380 to finish the preliminaries in second place with 2434 (202.83). Belgium’s Thys and Haest, who finished with a low game of 331, maintained third place by 12 pins with 2284 (190.33).

Norwegians Johnsrud and Hultstedt, who led the first squad by 10 pins over The Netherlands and 19 pins over Finland, took the fourth and last place to advance with 2272 or an average of 189.33.

Only three of the 52 girls from 18 countries surpassed the 1200 mark (200 average) to take the top three positions in all-events (total pinfall in singles, doubles and team preliminaries) after six out of 18 games.

Koshel led the way with 1269 and an average of 211.50, including five games between 212 and 222 and a low of 174.

Tidbeck was just 17 pins behind in second place with 1252 (208.67) and Hultstedt was third with 1209. Teea Mäkelä from the host country Finland posted the highest game of the day with 257.

Action shifts to the four-player team events on Wednesday and Thursday. The girls’ and boys’ teams will bowl the first three-game block on Wednesday (9 a.m. boys; 1.15 p.m. girls) and the second block on Thursday (9 a.m. girls; 1.15 p.m. boys). The semi-finals and the gold medal matches will follow at 5.30 and 6.30 p.m. All times Eastern European Summer Time.

The 30th European Youth Championships will be held from April 8-17, 2017 at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

The Championships drew 146 players, 94 boys and 52 girls, from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Finland.

Up to four boys and four girls per country who must not be born before September 1, 1998 will bowl in separate divisions for gold, silver and bronze medals in five disciplines: Singles, Doubles and four-player Teams, All-Events and Masters.

The 2017 EYC will be played on a 41-foot lane conditioning pattern with 25.485 mL volume oil total.

Singles, Doubles and Team preliminaries feature six games with the top 4 advancing to the medal round. No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3 in the semi-finals. The winners bowl for gold and silver while the losers share the bronze medal. All matches will be decided in one game.

The three players with highest 18-game total of the Singles, Doubles and Teams preliminaries earn the medals in All-Events. The top 24 in All-Events determine the Masters champion in single-elimination match play in best-of-three games format. Top 8 players receive a first-round bye.

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

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The medalists in Girls’ Doubles with their coaches, from left to right:
Norway (2nd), Belgium (1st), Sweden and Russia (tied for 3rd).

30th EYC 2017 – Girls Doubles Medal Round

Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland (April 11, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Belgium (Jolien Thys, Shinya Haest), 792 (2 games)
2. Norway (Helene J Johnsrud, Sofia Hultstedt), 734 (2 games)
3. Russia (Maria Koshel, Daria Minenko), 388 (1 game)
(tie) Sweden (Mathilda Tidbeck, Hanna Engberg), 349 (1 game)

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1:
No. 4 Norway (Johnsrud 178/Hultstedt 211) def.
No 1 Russia (Koshel 216/Minenko 172), 389-388
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 3 Belgium (Thys 188/Haest 200) def.
No. 2 Sweden (Tidbeck 165/Engberg 184), 388-349
Gold Medal Match:
Belgium (Thys 191/Haest 213) def.
Norway (Johnsrud 145/Hultstedt 200), 404-345.

30th EYC 2017 – Girls Doubles Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round.

30th EYC 2017 – Girls All-Events after 6 of 18 games

Top three earn the medals in All-Events; top 24 advance to Masters match play, top 8 earn one bye

Herbert Bickel

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