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Four players add their names to the leaderboard in Sofia


2016SIOAntonElofsson2Mattias Wetterberg of Sweden, Santtu Tahvanainen of Finland, Vasilis Stefopoulos of Greece and Omer Nechushtan of Israel joined the elite 1300-club Thursday as they added their names to the leaderboard in the qualifying of the 7th Sofia International Open 2016.

2016SIOMattiasWetterbergAnton Elofsson (right) and Mattias Olsson of Sweden continued to lead the 197-player field from 25 countries with 1334 and 1334, respectively. Wetterberg (left) set the pace on sixth qualifying day with games 246, 216, 169, 258, 205 and 229 but fell 12 pins short of the lead to sit in third place with 1323 and an average of 220.50.

2016SIOSanttuTahvanainen2Hadley Morgan of England, who won the tournament in 2015, slipped to fourth place with 1321. Tahvanainen (right) rebounded from a slow start (171, 198) in squad 25 with games of 244, 265, 229 and 212 for 1319 total to improve his previous high series (1285) by 36 pins and to leap four spots into fifth place.

2016SIOVictorDumitrascuStefopoulos was just two pins behind in sixth place with 1317 after starting his six-game series with 257 and 237. Zoran Banjac of Croatia fell from fourth to seventh place with 1312 and was followed by Victor Dumitrascu (left) of Romania in eighth place with 1307 and Mehmet Kaya of Turkey in ninth place with 1304.

2016SIOYavorMilanovNechushtan closed his set with a big 267 game to jump into 10th place with 1303 and an average of 217.17. Yavor Milanov (right) was the best Bulgarian bowler in the field in 14th place with 1283.

2016SIODidiIlievaPBA and USBC Hall of Famer, Brian Voss, United States, had three games over and three games under 200 to sit in 22nd place with 1261 and an average of 210.17.

Didi Ilieva (left) of Bulgaria was best of 23 female participants in 24th place with 1255, including 8 pins handicap each game, closely followed by Nadezda Korablinova. The Russian started with two sub-par games and added 224, 202 and another 224, 202 to leap into 25th place with 1249.

The score to make the cut in 44th place surpassed the 200-average mark. Eliaz Olsson of Sweden is the man “on the bubble” with 1211 or an average of 201.83.

Qualifying continues Friday, Nov. 4, with squads 26-30 scheduled to start at 1 and 10 a.m., 2, 6 and 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET).

2016SofiaOpenLogoThe 7th Sofia International Open 2016, a popular but non-European Bowling Tour event, will be held from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6 at bowling center Joy Station, a 20-laner in 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 starts on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), and runs through Saturday, Nov. 5, with the final squad 35 scheduled for 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET). Qualifying concludes with the one-game Desperado Squad. Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300).

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

The other 40 players will 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 will determine the finalists in the last four-game round with the pinfall from Round 3 being carried forward. The top 4 after eight games will bowl for the title in a traditional stepladder final.

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7th Sofia International Open 2016 – Qualifying Standings after 25/35 Squads

Top 44 qualifiers, top 2 from squads 17-25 (places 45-46), top 6 from squads 1-16 (places 47-52) and top 4 of the Desperado Squad will advance to the finals.

Herbert Bickel

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