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English girls shoot big games to win gold in Doubles at EYC


Isabel Allen and Sophie Thompson of England, who advanced to the medal round in girls’ doubles at the 31st European Youth Championships in Aalborg, Denmark, with a 1-pin victory in roll-off, averaged 235 as a pair on their way to the gold medal.

Seeded fourth, Allen (285; featured photo on the right) and Thompson (216) posted the highest game of the day on their way to a 501-442 victory over top seeded Swedes Judith Friman and Hanna Engberg (right, l-r) in the semi-final round. Allen’s 285 is the highest game of the Championships – boys and girls – so far.

Allen followed her high score with 259 and Thompson contributed 180 to beat out Beaudine Kriele and Denise Blankenzee (left, r-l) of The Netherlands for the gold medal by five pins, 439-434.

The Dutch, seeded third, topped Denmark’s Megan Dicay and Mika Guldbäk (right, r-l), seeded second, in the other semi-final match, 368-323.

England earned the gold medal, The Netherlands got silver and Sweden and Denmark each received the bronze medal.

The field of 66 girls from 22 countries was divided into two squads to roll six games of qualifying on Monday before the cut to the top 4 who advance to the one-game medal round on Tuesday afternoon. Two pairs from each squad made it to the medal round.

Sweden averaged 210.42 and toppled 2525 pins in the second squad to overtake squad1 leaders Denmark (2479) and Netherlands (2405) and to earn the no. 1 seed for the medal round. England 2 and Malta 1 tied for fourth place at 2371. The English girls earned their spot in the semi-finals with an 88-87 win in roll-off.

Jaqueline Witura of Austria set the pace in all-events with 1320 averaging 220 for six games. Mika Guldbäk is just three pins behind in second place with 1317, while Hanna Engberg hit 1300 on the nose to sit in third place.

Action shifts to the boys’ and girls’ four-player team competitions on Wednesday (first block of three games) and Thursday (second block and medal rounds).

The 31st European Youth Championships will be held from March 24 to April 2 at 30-lane Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark.

The championships drew 156 players, 90 boys and 66 girls, from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Denmark.

Up to four boys and four girls per country who must not be born before September 1, 1999 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 2018 EYC will be played on a 39-foot lane conditioning pattern with 26.73 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. The top 8 players receive a first-round bye.

Photos courtesy of Markus Hegnelius, Jan Jaap van der Sar and Valgeir Guðbjartsson.

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31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Doubles Medal Round

Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark (March 27, 2018)

Championship Round:
1. England (Isabel Allen, Sophie Thompson), 940 (2 games)
2. Netherlands (Beaudine Kriele, Denise Blankenzee), 802 (2 games)
3. Sweden (Judith Friman, Hanna Engberg), 442 (1 game)
(tie) Denmark (Megan Dicay, Mika Guldbæk), 323 (1 game)

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1:
No. 4 England (Allen 285, Thompson 216) def.
No. 1 Sweden (Friman 225, Engberg 217), 501-442
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 3 Netherlands (Kriele 154, Blankenzee 214) def.
No. 2 Denmark (Dicay 153, Guldbæk 170), 368-323
Gold Medal Match:
England (Allen 259, Thompson 180) def.
Netherlands (Kriele 231, Blankenzee 293), 439-434.

31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Doubles Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round; in a roll-off for fourth place, England 2 defeated Malta 1, 88-87

Individual High Game/High Series
1 Game – Sara Xuereb, Malta – 279
3 Games – Jaqueline Witura, Austria – 709
6 Games – Jaqueline Witura, Austria – 1320

Doubles High Game/High Series
1 Game – Raquel Xuereb/Sara Xuereb, Malta – 490
3 Games – Megan Dicay/Mika Guldbæk, Denmark – 1331
6 Games – Judith Friman/Hanna Engberg, Sweden – 2525

31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ All-Events after 6/18 games

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

Herbert Bickel

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