Asbaty ready to experience Pan American Games


    United States

    Chicago native aiming to add more accomplishments in her young, storied career

    2007WRMDiandraAsbaty.jpg Diandra Asbaty has won numerous titles and gold medals from her many travels across the world in the past nine years on Team USA.

    However, next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Chicago native will get to experience the thrill of the Pan American Games for the first time in her young, yet storied, bowling career.

    "This is one event I've always wanted to go to - it's the closest thing we have to the Olympics," said Asbaty, who has over 50 medals in international competition. "To be competing alongside elite athletes from other sports will be a unique experience. I've been looking forward to it for months."

    The XV Pan American Games, which run July 13-29, are an Americas version of the Olympic Games which includes the Olympic Program sports and others that are not part of the Olympics. The bowling competition, consisting of singles and doubles events, is scheduled for July 23-26 at Barra Bowling Center, a 20-lane facility located in the Barra Shopping Mall.

    2007WRMDiandraAsbaty.jpg Asbaty, 26, is coming off a recent hot streak that saw her win her second career World Ranking Masters championship in early May, one week after finishing second at the prestigious United States Bowling Congress Queens tournament.

    "I know one thing, for sure, I'm going to go there prepared," said Asbaty, who also won the QubicaAMF World Cup last November in Venezuela. "I've been working really hard on my game the past couple of years. Hopefully, I can do my part to put us in the best position to win."

    Asbaty will be joined at the Pan American Games by Team USA's Tennelle Milligan of Costa Mesa, Calif., Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., and Cassidy Schaub of Polk, Ohio.

    The only team member with Pan American Games experience is Milligan, who won the team gold medal at 1999 event and is a former Queens and U.S. Women's Open champion. Asbaty believes Milligan's experience will be beneficial to each Team USA athlete.

    "I'm looking forward to learning a lot from Tennelle," said Asbaty, a two-time U.S. Amateur champion and a 2005 inductee into the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame. "She has an incredible game and knows what to expect from international competition. It'll be fun to follow her lead."

    An estimated 5,500 athletes from 42 countries will compete in 28 sports at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. Conducted every four years, the first Pan American Games were held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.