Kulick (left), who made sports history two years ago by winning 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions to become the first woman to win a PBA Tour event, is the well-deserved winner of the gold medal as she led the 57-player women’s division since the first block of qualifying.
However, the reigning women’s U.S. Open champion survived two strong charges in the championship round. In her semifinal match against Esther Cheah (below left) of Malaysia, Kulick was down by six pins heading into the last frame.
She struck out to force Cheah, who won the gold medal in Singles at the 2005 Women’s World Championships, got only nine pins on her first bal in the tenth to settle for the bronze medal, 212-207.
In the other semifinal match Zavjalova ousted Aseret Zetter (right) of Mexico, 237-212, to bowl Kulick for the title.
The best female bowler in the world started the gold medal match with three strikes to take an early lead. Bother players either struck or left single pins on their first shots through the entire match.
The Latvian, who studies in the U.S. at Webber International University and is on the team that won the 2012 Intercollegiate Team Championships, started with two spares and three strikes to trail Kulick by one pin in the middle of the game.
Both players added two spares a strike in frames sixth through eight. When Kulick only spared in the foundation frame, the door was open for Zavjalova. She got a strike in the ninth frame and could shut out Kulick with another strike in the tenth.
When Zavjalova closed out with spare and strike for 226, Kulick needed a double and a nine-count on the fill ball to win. The woman, who has won all major women’s tournaments in the U.S., sealed the victory with another three strikes.
Zavjalova earned the silver medal while Cheah and Zetter both received bronze.
Free live streaming was provided of the entire championships. To view the archived videos click here.
Beginning in 2012, the World Singles Championships will be held every four years. The new event gives WTBA a world championship event every year, filling a void created under the previous calendar.
The joint Combined World Championships will take place in 2013, the Men’s World Championships will take place in 2014 and Women’s World Championships in 2015. Each of those events are also held every four years.
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Galactica Bowling Center in Limassol, Cyprus (Sept. 18-26, 2012)
1. Kelly Kulick, United States
2. Diana Zavjalova, Latvia
3. Esther Cheah, Malaysia, and Aseret Zetter, Mexico
L-R: Zavjalova, Kulick, Cheah and Zetter.
Semifinal Match 1: No. 1 Kulick def. No. 12 Cheah, 212-207
Semifinal Match 2: No. 14 Zavjalova def. No. 10 Zetter, 237-212
Championship: Kulick def. Zavjalova, 228-226.
5. Shannon O’Keefe, United States.
6. Clara Juliana Guerrero, Colombia.
7. Joline Persson-Planefors, Sweden.
8. Krista Pöllänen, Finland.
9. Alena Korobkova, Russia.
10. Rebecka Larsen, Sweden.
11. Karen Marcano, Venezuela.
12. Britt Brøndsted, Denmark.
13. Sue Abela, Malta.
14. Wendy Kok, Netherlands.
15. Isabelle Rioux, Canada.
16. Luminita Farkas, Romania.
17. Daria Kovalova, Ukraine.
18. Jacqueline Sijore, Malaysia.
19. Daphne Tan, Singapore.
20. Sarit Mizrachi, Israel.
21. Cherie Tan, Singapore.
22. Hannah Cullen, Ireland.
23. Nora Szabo, Hungary.
24. Myria Kastori, Cyprus.
25. Piritta Maja, Finland
26. Pat Torgersen, Norway
27. Laura Beuthner, Germany
28. Alicia Marcano, Venezuela
29. Evgeniya Smirnova, Russia
30. Jelena Celiseva, Latvia
31. Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia
32. Tania Yusaf, Scotland
33. Christina Sanz, Catalonia
34. Nadine Geissler, Germany
35. Sophie van der Meer, Netherlands
36. Fabiana Baraldi, Italy
37. Ivonne Gross, Austria
38. Heidi Thorstensen, Norway
39. Melissa Swift, Malta
40. Petra Hanzlovska, Czech Republic
41. Nafsika Deligianni, Greece
42. Jo Allsebrook, England
43. Shahaf Antin, Israel
44. Oleksandra Iakunina, Ukraine
45. Jana Lebrova, Czech Republic
46. Aimee Kellegher, Ireland
47. Niki Schiza, Cyprus
48. Malgorzata Kiedrowska, Poland
49. Maria Toth, Hungary
50. Maria Isidorou, Greece
51. Alena Lazuta, Belarus
52. Aksana Sinitsa, Belarus
53. Teresa Oberkersch, Austria
54. Lucia Vieira, Brazil
55. Hala Shaarawi, Egypt
56. Felinda Gizybowska, Poland
57. Lea Castro, Brazil
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