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Qatar’s Jassim Al Muraikhi wins qualifying at Brunswick Madrid Challenge


Jassim Al Muraikhi of Qatar rolled a perfect game in the on his way into the lead in the qualifying of the Brunswick Madrid Challenge at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain, with 1534 total or an average of 255.67.

Al Muraikhi (featured photo), one of eight Qataris in the 162-player field from 22 countries, started the second squad on Saturday, 16th overall, with 258 before he connected on 12 consecutive shots on the way to the tournament’s third 300 game (his compatriot Nasser Al Sahoti and Markus Jansson of Sweden had the others).

Al Muraikhi closed his set with 244, 220, 246 and 266 to win the qualifying and a 750 Euro bonus and to lead a group of 48 players into the finals on Sunday.

2017 European Bowling Tour point ranking leader Carsten Warming Hansen (left) of Denmark was 47 pins behind Al Muraikhi with 1487, including high games of 289, 266, 257 and 245, to jump into second place, with Irish two-hander Christopher Sloan (right) just 13 pins behind in third place with 1474, including a near-perfect 299 in game four.

Previous leader Jesse Ahokas and fellow Finn Jari Ratia slipped three spots to fourth and fifth place with 1453 and 1450, respectively.

Maria Jose Rodriguez (right) of Colombia was the best of 21 women in the field in sixth place with 1446 total, including 48 pins handicap, to win a 750 Euro bonus. Dutch Nicole Sanders (19th; 1397), the only other woman in the top 36, receives a 500 Euro bonus.

Ildemaro Ruiz Jr. (left) of Venezuela led the penultimate squad 17 with 1435, including a 298 game, to improve his previous high series of 1384 by 51 pins and to leap into seventh place.

Day one leader Thomas Larsen of Denmark was tied with squad 15 leader Nicola Pongolini (right) of Italy for eighth place at 1429 (238.17 average). Larsen was seeded eighth and Pongolini ninth due to the higher last game (227 to 192 in Larsen’s favor).

Pontus Andersson (left) of Sweden, who led the last squad 18 with 1417 moved into 12th place and will bypass the first round of the finals. Manuel Otalora of Colombia took the 16th and last place to earn one bye with 1403 (233.88).

Osku Palermaa (right) of Finland, who is second on the all-time EBT title list with 13 wins, was the last to make the cut in 36th place with 1370 and an average of 228.33, 26 pins lower than last year’s cut.

The top 36 will be joined in the finals by eight “early birds” and the top four of the Desperado Squad (left). Luis Jimenez Marin, USA, led the desperados with a huge 288 game and was followed by the most winningest woman in EBT history, four-time EBT champion Ghislaine Stigter Van Der Tol, Netherlands (255), Robin Skans, Sweden (249) and Teemu Putkisto, Finland (238), who was the first player out of the top 36 with 1366.

The VI Brunswick Madrid Challenge is the 6th stop of the 2018 European Bowling Tour season and the first out of two EBT “Bronze” tournaments this season. The tournament will be held from July 1-8 at 20-lane Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain. Francois Lavoie of Canada is the defending BMC champion.

Players will compete for total prize money of 40.300 Euro with 6.000 Euro going to the winner, 3.000 to the runner-up and 2.000 to the third place finisher. Last-to-cash payout (48th place) is 300 Euro.

Qualifying gets underway on Sunday, July 1, and runs through Saturday, July 7, with the final squad 18 to start at 9 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). The qualifying winner earns a 750 Euro bonus. Qualifying concludes with the Desperado Squad slated for half past Midnight.

Women receive 8 pins handicap each game (maximum score is 300), a standard on the European Bowling Tour. The top two women in qualifying (before Desperado Squad) earn 750 and 500 Euro, respectively.

Total 48 players qualify for the finals on Sunday, July 8, including the top 36 from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 from the combined standings of July 1 squads and the top 5 of the squads conducted July 2 & 3, who were not in the top 36, plus four players from the Desperado Squad. The top 16 qualifiers receive a first-round bye and will be seeded 1-16 in match play.

The remaining 32 finalists will bowl six games from scratch with the top 16 advancing to match play, seeded 17-32.

In each round of match play, the highest seeded player will bowl against the lowest seeded player, the second-highest against the second-lowest, and so on. Match play rounds of 32, 16 and 8 consist of best-of-three games while semi-finals and finals will be decided in one game.

The field will be cut to 16, 8, 4 and then two players who will bowl for the title and the 6.000 Euro top prize.

The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 12 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, two “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 625.000 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 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.

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2018 Brunswick Madrid Challenge – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

Total 48 players, including the top 36 players from the overall qualifying standings, the top 3 players from the combined standings of squads 1 & 2 (position 37-39) and the top 5 of squads 3-6 (position 40-44) who are not among the top 36, and the top four players of the Desperado Squad (position 45-48), will advance to the finals. The top 16 qualifiers receive a first-round bye.

300 games (3) – Nasser Al Sahoti, Markus Jansson, Jassim Al Muraikhi.

Herbert Bickel

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