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No changes atop the leaderboard at Sofia International Open


There were no changes to the leaderboard of the 8th Sofia International Open 2017 Wednesday as Georgos Stefanidis of Greece continued to lead the 146-player field from 20 countries with 1366 and an average of 227.67.

Stefanidis (right) was followed by a pair of Finnish bowlers, Teemu Putkisto and Tomas Käyhkö, who were close behind in second and third place with 1363 and 1360, respectively.

They were followed by another seven bowlers from Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Greece and Turkey who surpassed the 1300-mark.

Sidney Schroschk (left and above), a member of the German youth national team, led squad 19 on Wednesday with 1285, the highest series of the day, to leap into 14th place in the qualifying standings. Schroschk had four games between 199 and 206 and a pair of 230s. Cristian Calagiu of Romania was second with 1243 to take over 25th place.

The other squad leader on Wednesday, Romeo Gagenoiu of Romania (squad 17, 1228), Shinji Yuzuriha (right) of Peru (squad 18, 1277) and Alexander Vasekin of Russia (squad 20, 1189), were unable to improve their seeding.

Marina Stefanova of Bulgaria remained the best of 20 women in the field but slipped to 23nd place with 1252 total, including 48 pins handicap. Another three women, Mia Bewley, England, (26th, 1235), Mariana Meteksinova, Bulgaria, (29th, 1221) and Maria Nikolova, Bulgaria, (41st, 1192), are currently above the cut line.

The score to make the cut in 44th place has not yet reached the 1200-mark (200 average). Vadym Danylik of Ukraine is the man “on the bubble” with 1178 and an average of 196.33.

Qualifying continues Thursday, Oct. 26, with squads 22-25 scheduled to start at 10 a.m., 2, 6 and 9.30 p.m. Central European Time (CET) and squad 26 at 1 a.m. on early Friday morning.

The 8th Sofia International Open 2017, a popular but non-European Bowling Tour event, will be held from Oct. 21-29 at bowling center Joy Station, a 20-laner in Sofia, 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. 21, at 10 a.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST), and runs through Saturday, Oct. 28, with the final squad 35 scheduled for 9.30 p.m. 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, Oct. 29, 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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8th Sofia International Open 2017 – Qualifying Standings after 21/35 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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