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Joonas Jähi, Maria Bulanova win 38th European Champions Cup


Joonas Jähi of Finland and Russia’s Maria Bulanova shot some big games on their way to men’s and women’s title in the 38th European Champions Cup, which concluded Sunday afternoon with the best-of-three games finals at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino.

Both title matches featured the No. 1 vs. No. 2 seed. Top-seeded Jähi defeated defending champion Tom van der Vliet, Netherlands, two-games-to-one, to deny the Dutch his second consecutive title. Bulanova swept No. 1 seed, Joline Persson Planefors of Sweden, in the women’s finale, 2-0.

2015ECCMenPodium.jpgIt was the ninth ECC title for the Finnish men, while 17-year-old Bulanova became the first-ever Russian champion, women and men, in the 38-year history of the event.

Jähi, who led the men’s division since the second block of qualifying, averaged over 250 for five games on his way the men’s crown. The Finn, who won the gold medal with the Finnish five-player team at the 2015 Men’s European Championships, swept for European champion (Masters), fourth-seeded Jesper Agerbo of Denmark, in the semi-final match.

L-R Van der Vliet, Jähi, Agerbo and Grundschober.

Van der Vliet ousted third-seeded Leo Grundschober of Austria in the other semi-final match, 2-1. Van der Vliet received the silver medal and Agerbo and Grundschober shared the bronze medal.

2015ECCWomenPodium.jpgBulanova, the youngest player ever to win a European Bowling Tour title (2013 Russian Open at the tender age of 14), was the only woman who was able to follow Persson Planefors, who dominated the event from start to the Round 8, averaging 239.04 for 28 games. Bothe the Swede and the Russian (233.64) out averaged the men.

Bulanova averaged 243.75 for four games as she swept both of her opponents in the best-of-three format. In the semifinal match, Bulanova made quick work of Ellen Jansen, Netherlands, while Persson Planefors went the distance against two-time ECC champion Krista Pöllänen ousting the Finn with a 247-180 win in the decider.

L-R Persson Planefors, Bulanova, Jansen and Pöllänen.

Persson Planefors had to settle for the silver medal, while Jansen and Pöllänen both received the bronze medal.

2015ECCLogo.jpgThe 38th European Champions Cup took place from October 18-25 at 18-lane Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino featuring the men’s and women’s national champions or point ranking leaders of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation member federations as well as the defending ECC champions.

All 38 men and 38 women from 37 countries, including defending champions Birgit Pöppler of Germany and Tom van der Vliet, Netherlands, rolled two eight-game blocks of qualifying Wednesday through Friday on a 40 foot oil pattern. For more information Rose’n Bowl read the Lane Map Guide.

The top 16 men and 16 women carried over their qualifying pins into Round 1. After another eight games the top 8 advanced to Round 2. Pinfall continued to carry over. Those 8 bowled four more games to cut to the top 4 who determined the champion in best-of-three games matches. In the semi-finals, No. 1 met No. 4 and No. 2 took on No. 3. The winners bowled for gold and silver, while the losers shared the bronze medal.

Full European Champions Cup rules can be found in the ETBF Constitution (Chapter 7; pages 48 and 49). For more details on the 38th ECC 2015 read
Bulletin No. 1.

Photos Max Bulanov.

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2015 European Champions Cup – Men’s Finals

Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino (October 18-25, 2015)

Championship Round:
1. Joonas Jähi, Finland
2. Tom van der Vliet, Netherlands
3. Leopold Grundschober, Austria
(tie) Jesper Agerbo, Denmark

Playoff Results (best-of-three game matches):
Semi-final Match 1: No. 1 Jähi def. No. 4 Agerbo, 2-0
(237-225, 258-211)
Semi-final Match 2: No. 2 Van der Vliet def. No. 3 Grundschober, 2-1
(226-230, 223-218, 209-144)
Championship: Jähi def. Van der Vliet, 2-1
(245-279, 279-269, 235-223).

2015 European Champions Cup – Women’s Finals

Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino (October 18-25, 2015)

Championship Round:
1. Maria Bulanova, Russia
2. Joline Persson Planefors, Sweden
3. Ellen Jansen, Netherlands
(tie) Krista Pöllänen, Finland

Playoff Results (best-of-three game matches):
Semi-final Match 1: No. 1 Persson Planefors def. No. 4 Pöllänen, 2-1
(258-265, 231-223, 247-180)
Semi-final Match 2: No. 2 Bulanova def. No. 3 Jansen, 2-0
(213-195, 269-237)
Championship: Bulanova def. Persson Planefors, 2-0
(257-200, 236-220).

Herbert Bickel

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