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Norwegian national team members set the tone in Squad 15 in Oslo


Jens Mathiesen and Svein Åke Ek, two members of the national team that will represent Norway at the 2017 World Championships in Las Vegas, set the tone in the 15th qualifying squad of the Norwegian Open 2017 by Brunswick Thursday at Veitvet Bowling Center in Oslo, Norway.

Mathiesen (right, and above left), a 19-year-old lefty, had games of 246, 212, 223, 205, 236 and 245 for 1367 total and an average of 227.83 for six games. By striking out in the last frame, the southpaw overtook Sweden’s Daniel Fransson for eighth place in the overall standings by just one pin. The top 8 qualifiers will receive three byes.

Once again qualifying leader Raymond Jansson (left) of Sweden remained unchallenged and continued to lead the 154-player field, 124 men and 30 women, with tournament record 1602 and an average of 267.00, including the tournament’s lone 300 game.

Places 2 through 7 belonged to his son Markus Jansson (1466), the top Norwegian bowler and Junior Team Norway member Jonas Dammen (1463) and another four Swedes, Benjamin Jonsson (1423), Andreas Hansen (1422), Pontus Andersson (1375) and Lars Lundahl (1373).

Ek (right, and above right), who won the European Champions Cup in the year 2010, was next to Mathiesen with 1306 but fell one spot to 19th place with his high series of 1331 from the previous squad.

Among the 32 competitors in squad 15 were 12 men from Iceland (pictured during the warm-up). Iceland has not only qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but also for the 2017 World Bowling World Championships for men and women. The Norwegian Open serves as the ultimate qualifying event for both teams.

Four out of twelve men from Iceland were next to Mathiesen and Ek and positioned themselves above the cutline. Gústaf Smári Björnsson led Team Iceland in 27th place with 1290 and was followed by Arnar Davíð Jónsson (right; 29th, 1285), Gunnar Þór Ásgeirsson (34th, 1275) and Hafþór Harðarson (37th, 1271).

Last year’s women ranking winner and third place finisher, Ida Andersson (left) of Sweden, was the best woman in squad 15 with 1233, including handicap, but is 30 pins off the pace for finals in 50th place. Fredrik Finstad Anshus holds the 42nd and last spot with 1263 and an average of 210.50.

Other countries represented in squad 15 were Ireland, Malaysia and England. Christopher Sloan (right), a two-handed player from Ireland sits in 24th place with 1313.

Zulmazran Zulkifli (left), a two-hander from Malaysia, was 101 pins behind Sloan in 56th place, while Katie Finnigan (below right) of England is further 100 pins back in 95th place with 1112, including handicap.

Qualifying continues on Thursday with squad 16 scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

Bowlingdigital will provide onsite coverage from Veitvet Bowling Center in Oslo featuring stories, photos and results after each round commencing Thursday all the way through to the finals on Sunday, October 15, completed in the late afternoon.

The Norwegian Open 2017 by Brunswick runs from Oct. 6-15 at 26-lane Veitvet Bowling Center in Norway’s capital city of Oslo and is the 11th and final stop of the 2017 European Bowling Tour and also the last of three EBT “Bronze” tournaments this season.

The tournament offers total prize money of 275.000 Norwegian Kronor (currently 29.305 Euro), 36.000 NOK more than last year, with 45.000 NOK (approx. 4.795 Euro) going to the winner and a last-to-cash payout of 2.000 Kronor or 213 Euro for 60th place.

Qualifying at the Norwegian Open begins Friday, Oct. 6 and concludes Saturday, Oct. 14 with the final Squad 23 scheduled to start at 5 p.m. local time (CEST).

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events. The top 3 women after qualifying will receive 5.000 NOK, 3.000 NOK and 2.000 NOK bonuses, respectively.

Total 60 players will advance to the finals on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14 & 15, including the top 42 players from the overall qualifying standings, two players from a separate leaderboard of squads 1-7, who are not among the top 42, the next four women, the next four juniors (must not be born before Sept. 1, 1999), the next four seniors (must be 50 years of age on Oct. 6th) and two players each from the Turbo 1 and 2 list (highest score in qualifying game 5 and 6, respectively; separate fee necessary).

The top 8 qualifiers are seeded in Round 4, qualifiers 9-16 go to Round 3, qualifiers 17-24 start in Round 2 and qualifiers 25-28 begin in Round 1.

The other 32 finalists advance to Saturday’s semifinal round which begins at 9 p.m. CEST. All players bowl six games scratch with the top 12 advancing to Round 1 starting on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.

The remaining forty players determine the champion in five three-game rounds (rounds 1-4 starting from scratch). The field is trimmed to 32, 24, 16, and then eight players who bowl the last three-game round with the pinfall from Round 4 being carried forward.

The player with the highest six-game total will win the title, the 45.000 NOK top prize and 100 EBT ranking points (men and women in separate rankings).

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 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 11th EBT Masters April 23, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Carsten Warming Hansen (586 points) of Denmark and Sweden’s Pontus Andersson (557), who both have registered for the event, will determine the 2017 EBT men’s point ranking winner.

Jenny Wegner of Sweden has already sealed the victory in the women’s division. Nevertheless, the Norwegian Open will decide the top eight men and top eight women in the respective point ranking, who will qualify for the EBT Masters.

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60 players, including the top 42 players from the overall qualifying standings, will advance to the finals on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14 & 15

300 games (1) – Raymond Jansson.

Herbert Bickel

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