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Jesper Svensson averages 240 to leap into third place in Stockholm


Former World Youth champion Jesper Svensson of Sweden averaged 240 in Tuesday’s squad 8 at Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, to leap 25 spots into third place in the qualifying standings of the 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track.

The two-handed lefty (pictured right and above), who at the age of 22 owns eight European Bowling Tour titles along with seven Professional Bowlers Association titles, fired games of 248, 268, 217, 247, 238 and 222 for 1440 to improve his previous high score by 125 pins.

Svensson, who was named Sweden’s Rookie Sportsman of the Year 2016 became just the fifth player out of 272 from eight countries who surpassed the 1400-mark.

His compatriots James Gruffman (left), a one-time EBT champion, and Isabelle Hultin (right) lead the field since the second squad with 1465 and 1463, respectively. Hultin, who leads the women’s ranking, received eight pins handicap each game, a standard on the European Bowling Tour.

Another two Swedes, three-time EBT champion Peter Hellström (left) and Joakim Biehl, Sweden, who led squad 1 and 2, respectively, slipped to fourth and fifth place with 1427 and 1405.

Kim Bolleby of Thailand and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan (right) of Singapore are the only non-Swedish bowlers in the top 10 in seventh and 10th place with 1387 and 1379, including handicap.

The cut for the top 8, who will earn two byes and skip the semi-final round and the first round of the finals, is currently Björn Lindqvist (left) who tied Bolleby but has the lower last game (255 to 259), which breaks the tie.

2017 European Youth Team and Masters champion William Svensson (right), Sweden, closed his squad 8 with 246 and 250 to move into 13th place with 1363 and an average of 227.17. His fellow countryman Cristopher Nybom was the only other bowler Tuesday, who reached the 1300-plateau, with 1308 (218.00), good for 31st place overall.

With one-third of the qualifying potion completed, it takes an average of 214.67 to make the top 38, who will miss the semi-final round. Former World Youth champion Pontus Andersson (left), Sweden, who won his first EBT title last season, holds the 38th position with 1288.

Olle Eriksson, Sweden, mans the 74th and last place to advance from the overall leaderboard with 1230 or an average of 205.

Lukas Sevelin, Sweden, posted the first 300 game of the tournament in the second game of squad 8 but managed only 957 in the other games and had to settle for 58th place with 1257.

Qualifying continues on Wednesday, January 3, with squads 10-11 scheduled to start at 6 and 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET). Squad 9 has been canceled.

The 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track, which will be held from December 26th through January 7th at 28-lane Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, is the season-opening event of the 2018 European Bowling Tour.

A newcomer on the Tour, the “silver” level tournament offers total prize money of 475.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), roughly 48.000 Euro or 57,000 U.S. Dollar, including extra prizes for women, seniors, juniors and under 200 average bowlers.

The champion will walk away with the 60.000 SEK top prize (6.070€ / $7,195), with 30.000 SEK going to the runner-up and 20.000 SEK to the third place finisher. Low to cash is 56th place, worth 4.500 SEK (455€ / $540).

Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Tuesday, Dec. 26, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 7, with squad 23.

Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.

Total 100 players will advance, including the top 74 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 4 “early birds” (squads 1-3), top 4 women, top 4 juniors (born in 1997 or later), top 4 seniors (born in 1968 or earlier) and top 4 bowlers with a certified average under 200, who are not among the top 74, plus the top 3 players each from Turbo G5 (highest qualifying game #5) and Turbo G6 (highest qualifying game #6).

The top 8 qualifiers go directly to Final Round 2, while qualifiers 9-38, the four “early birds” and the Turbo G5 and G6 leaders advance to Final Round 1. The remaining 56 finalists meet in the semi-final round on Saturday evening, Jan. 6, to bowl six games starting from scratch with the top 12 advancing to Final Round 1 on Sunday morning, Jan. 7.

Final Round 1 and 2 are also six-game rounds beginning from scratch (no carryover pins), which trim the field to 32 and then 16 players. Round 2 pins carry over to the finals.

Final Round 3 and 4 are four-game rounds after which the field is cut to the top 8 and then three players, who determine the champion in a stepladder final. No. 3 takes on no. 2 for the right to bowl the top-seed for the title.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 560.000 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 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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38th AIK International – Qualifying Standings after Squad 8/23

Players with position, country and 6-game total; women’s scores including 8 pins handicap each game. Top 74 qualifiers plus another 26 players will advance.

300 games (1) – Lukas Sevelin.

Herbert Bickel

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