Igor Gorodnichiy wins all three qualifying squads on Wednesday at Ekaterinburg Open


    2014 European Bowling Tour #5

    Russian becomes the first player to crack the 1300-bar; leads a field of 43 players from Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia with 1317; cut for 32nd place is currently 1049 (174.83 average)

    2014EBT05IgorGorodnichiy.jpg2012WSCEvgeniyaSmirnova.jpgRussian bowlers continued to dominate the qualifying of the Ekaterinburg Open 2014 at Hippo Amusement Park in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Igor Gorodnichiy (pictured) won all three squads on Wednesday en route to overtake the lead of the 43-player field from Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia.

    Gorodnichiy started the day with a 1253 series in squad 6, which propelled him into third place in the overall qualifying standings. He topped Squad 7 with 1225 before he rolled games of 203, 209, 202, 216, 244 and 243 in squad 8 to move to the top of the leaderboard with 1317 and an average of 219.50.

    Gorodnichiy is the only player who cracked the 1300-bar as the qualifying has reached its halfway point. Evgeniya Smirnova (above right) posted a 1215 series in Squad 8, 202.50 average, and added 48 pins handicap to leap into second place with 1263. She is the best of eight women in the field.

    2014EBT05AlexeyParshukov.jpg2014EBT05YuliyaGorbacheva.jpgPrevious leader Alexey Parshukov (left) fell two spots to third place with 1262 and was followed by Yuliya Gorbacheva (right) in fourth place with 1257 including handicap.

    The qualifying winner will earn six byes while qualifiers 2-4 will get five byes for Saturday's finals. Fifth place belonged to Alexey Yaroslavtsev with 1251, while Kristina Ushakova moved into sixth place with 1226.

    Bulgaria's Anton Makarov is the only foreign bowler the cut line in 12th place with 1165. Sergey Kudimov currently holds the 32nd and last place to qualify directly for the finals with 1049 or an average of 174.83.

    Qualifying continues Thursday, March 27, with Squads 9-11 scheduled to start at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Ekaterinburg Time (CET +5).

    The Ekaterinburg Open 2014, a newcomer on the European Bowling Tour, is the fifth stop of the 2014 season and the second of nine EBT "Satellite" tournaments, the lowest of the four EBT categories. The tournament will be held from Monday, March 24, through Saturday, March 29, at 16-lane Hippo Amusement Park in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

    Players will compete for total prize money of 20.000 Euro with 2.200 Euro going to the winner, 1.800 to the runner-up and 1.400 and 1.200 to the third and fourth place finishers, respectively. Low to cash is 36th place worth 220 Euro.

     Qualifying runs through Friday, March 28 with the final qualifying Squad 15 scheduled for 9 p.m. Ekaterinburg Time (CET +5), followed by the ultimate one-game Desperado Squad slated for 0.30 a.m. on Saturday.

    The tournament will be contested on a 39 feet oil pattern with 24,745 mL volume oil total (click image to enlarge). Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), a standard on the European Bowling Tour.

    Total 36 players - the top 32 qualifiers plus the top 4 from the Desperado Squad - will advance to the finals on Saturday, March 29.

    The qualifying leader earns six byes and will be seeded first in the semifinal round. Qualifiers 2-4 get five byes, qualifiers 5-8 receive four byes, qualifiers 9-12 get three byes, qualifiers 13-18 take two byes and qualifiers 19-24 bypass the first round of the finals. Qualifiers 25-32 and the four "Desperados" will start the finals at 9 a.m. local time.

    Rounds 1-6 feature two games. The field will be cut to 30, 24, 16, 12, 7 and then four players who will bowl head-to-head semifinal matches with the two-game total determining the winner.

    The winners advance to the title match and the losers bowl in a roll-off for third and fourth place. The same format as in the semifinal applies.

    2014EBTLogo_small.jpg After the 2014 Brunswick Italia Challenge has been cancelled, the 2014 European Bowling Tour features 20 tournaments in 14 countries. In its 15th season, the EBT consists of two Platinum, six Gold, three Silver and nine Satellite tournaments. The total prize fund exceeds one million Euro.

    The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 12 men and top 12 women, who will compete in the eighth EBT Masters July 6, 2015 in Asti, Italy.


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    Ekaterinburg Open 2014 - Qualifying Standings after Squad 8/15

    The top 32 players plus the top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to Saturday's finals.