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Opening Ceremony kicks off 2018 PABCON Champion of the Champions event

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The 2018 Pan American Bowling Confederation Champion of the Champions event kicked off with the opening ceremony Monday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fifth edition of the tournament, first contested in 2008, will feature 11 women’s teams and 13 men’s teams, each with two players.

All competitors at the 26-lane Bowling Social Club this week will bowl eight games of singles Tuesday and eight games of doubles Wednesday. Based on their 16-game pinfall totals, the top eight women and top eight men will advance to Thursday’s Masters match play.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each event.

The Team USA representatives at the 2018 PABCON Champion of Champions are Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, Matt Russo of Millstone Township, New Jersey, and Matt Farber of Plainview, New York (pictured, r-l).

The environment at the bowling center Monday night was very festive and social, as the name would imply, as competitors, coaches, friends, family and bowling fans celebrated the official start of the tournament.

The opening ceremony included the traditional march of teams, reading of the oaths for players (pictured is Brazil’s Marcelo Suartz) and officials and best wishes from PABCON and local dignitaries.

The women’s field this week will include competitors from Aruba, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and the United States.

On the men’s side will be Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, United States and Uruguay.

Competition officially starts Tuesday at 8 a.m. Eastern with eight games of singles. The women will start the day, and the men will take the lanes at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. The lane condition this week will be the 44-foot World Bowling London oil pattern.

The PABCON Champion of Champions last was held in 2016 in Puebla, Mexico. Rocio Restrepo of Colombia and Francois Lavoie of Canada won the masters titles, while Colombia swept the singles titles and the United States claimed both doubles titles.

The 2018 tournament also will serve as a chance for some of the teams to qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games, which will be held next summer in Lima, Peru.

All countries have designated two PABCON or other regional events, such as the Central American Games or Caribbean Games, as their qualifying attempts, and the United States chose the PABCON Championships (the men’s edition will be held in early 2019) and the PABCON Champion of Champions event.

Men’s and women’s teams each must qualify separately, and the top five eligible women’s teams and top five eligible men’s teams in Brazil will advance. Total combined pinfall for the team’s two players will determine who moves on.

The Team USA women claimed one of the two spots up for grabs at the recent PABCON Women’s Championships in the Dominican Republic.

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games (July 26-Aug. 11) will bring together approximately 6,700 athletes and feature 39 sports and 62 disciplines. The Pan Am Games are the second largest multi-sport event, gathering the 41 National Olympic Committees that make up PanamSports.

For more information, or to follow the scores from the PABCON Champion of Champions, click here.

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