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Oskar Wirefeldt, Mika Guldbäk conclude 31st EYC with victory in Masters


Sweden’s Oskar Wirefeldt and Mika Guldbäk of Denmark concluded the 31st European Youth Championships with victory in boys’ and girls’ masters Easter Sunday at Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark. It was the fourth gold medal for Sweden in this championship and the first for the host country.

The boys’ gold medal match between Wirefeldt, seeded fifth, and no. 8 Lassi Aalto of Finland went the distance as Aalto won a close opening game, 195-191, and Wirefeldt forced a third game with a 218-168 win in game two.

Wirefeld (featured photo) used three strikes in frames 2-4 to lead by 22 pins at the halfway mark. Aalto narrowed the gap to two pins in the next two frames. Both players struck in the eighth and ninth frame. Finishing first, Aalto left one pin on his first delivery in the 10th frame and Wirefeldt added another strike to seal the 2-1 victory, 225-212.

It was the third gold medal for Sweden in the boys’ division. Aalto added a silver medal to the gold medal in doubles after his team mates Pyry Puharinen and Jesse Ahokas triumphed in the opening event.

In the boys’ semi-finals, Aalto denied William Svensson‘s bid his third gold medal and for back-to-back masters titles by defeating the Swede, 212-205, in the deciding third game for a 2-1 win.

Down one-game-to-none against Maxime Dubois of France, Wirefeldt rolled games of 225 and 265 to rebound for a 2-1 win.

Svensson added a bronze medal to the gold medals in team and singles and the silver medal in all-events. Dubois, who was third in singles and all-events, got his third bronze medal.

Last year’s runner-up Oleksandr Nechypaiev of Ukraine, who was eliminated by Aalto in the quarterfinals, rolled his second 300 game of this championship in the Round of 16 becoming the first person in the 31-year history of the EYC who owns two perfect games (the first came in singles).

In the girl’s title match between all-events silver medalist Guldbäk and all-events champion Jaqueline Witura, the Dane made quick work of the Austrian, 212-206 and 231-199, to wrap up the title with a two-game-to-none victory.

Besides gold in masters and silver in all-events, Guldbäk has won two bronze medals in doubles and team. Witura received the silver medal and went home with full set of gold, silver and bronze medals, including gold in all-events and bronze in singles.

In the girls’ semi-finals Witura and Guldbäk came rallied from a 0-1 deficit and defeated their opponents, 2-1. Witura eliminated Sara Xuereb of Malta, 268-193 in the decider, while Guldbäk sidelined Bianca Brommer, Netherlands, 211-164.

Defending girls’ champion Denise Blankenzee, Netherlands, fell to her teammate Brommer in the Round of 16, 2-1.

Xuereb’s bronze medal was the first medal for Malta in this championships. Brommer’s bronze medal was her first in this championships and the third for the Netherlands, behind a silver medal in girls’ doubles and a bronze medal in boys’ team event.

Sweden, which has medaled in all five disciplines in the boys’ division and all but in masters in the girls’ division, led the overall medal tally with four gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

31st EYC – Overall Medal Tally:
1. Sweden (4-2-4)
2. England (2-1-0)
3. Denmark (1-1-4)
4. Norway (1-1-1)
(tie) Austria (1-1-1)
6. Finland (1-1-0)
7. Netherlands (0-1-2)
8. Czech Republic (0-1-0)
(tie) Slovenia (0-1-0)
10. France (0-0-3)
11. Belgium (0-0-1)
(tie) Germany (0-0-1)
(tie) Malta (0-0-1)

The 31st European Youth Championships was held from March 24 to April 2 at 30-lane Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark.

The championships drew 156 players, 90 boys and 66 girls, from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Denmark.

Up to four boys and four girls per country who must not be born before September 1, 1999 bowled in separate divisions for gold, silver and bronze medals in five disciplines: Singles, Doubles and four-player Teams, All-Events and Masters.

The 2018 EYC was played on a 39-foot lane conditioning pattern with 26.73 mL volume oil total.

Singles, Doubles and Team preliminaries featured six games with the top 4 advancing to the medal round. No. 1 bowled No. 4 and No. 2 took on No. 3 in the semi-finals. The winners bowled for gold and silver while the losers shared the bronze medal. All matches were decided in one game.

The three players with highest 18-game total of the Singles, Doubles and Teams preliminaries earned the medals in All-Events. The top 24 in All-Events determined the Masters champion in single-elimination match play in best-of-three games format. The top 8 players received a first-round bye.

The 32nd European Youth Championships will be held in Riga, Latvia, from April 13-22, 2019.

Photos courtesy of Markus Hegnelius.

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31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ and Girls’ Masters

Lovvang Bowling Center in Aalborg, Denmark (March 31 & April 1, 2018); all matches single-elimination match play in best-of-three games format.

31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Masters Championship



31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ Masters Championship



31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Masters Semifinal



31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ Masters Semifinal



31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Masters Quarterfinal


31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ Masters Quarterfinal


31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Masters Round of 16


31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ Masters Round of 16

300 Games (1) – Oleksandr Nechypaiev.

31st EYC 2018 – Girls’ Masters Round of 24


31st EYC 2018 – Boys’ Masters Round of 24


Herbert Bickel

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