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Swedens leads Team preliminaries after Day 1; Italy moves into 4th place


There were no changes at the top of the leaderboard in the team preliminaries as squad 2 has finished the first block of three games at the Men’s European Championships Friday at Bowling Stones bowling center in Brussels, Belgium.

Squad 1 leader Jesper Svensson, Peter Hellström, Markus Jansson, Pontus Andersson and Martin Larsen of Sweden (pictured) lead the field of 36 teams with 3375 total and an average of 225.

The Swedes started the first three-game block with a solid 1021, then fired a near-record 1240 (Finland hold the record with 1251; 2005 in Moscow, Russia) before they closed with 1114. Hellström led the team with 700 and was followed by Larsen (695), Jansson (669), Svensson (662) and Andersson (649).

2016MECTeamAustriaAustria‘s Thomas Gross, Alexander Rauscher, Daniel Hahn, Leopold Grundschober and Michael Loos (left) were 73 pins behind in second place with 3302 (220.13). Grundschober carried the team with the field-best 771 series, a 257 average, including games of 246, 256 and 269.

2016MECTeamCzechRepublicThird place belonged to Jan Macek, Jiri Hindrak, Michal Janovsky, Marek Talpa and Jaroslav Lorenc of Czech Republic (right) with 3267 (217.80). Macek started his three-game series with 12 strikes to become the first player to roll two perfect games in a Championship and to tie Kert Truus of Estonia as the only players with multiple 300 games.

Tommaso Radi, Nicola Pongolini, Alessandro Santu, Antonino Fiorentino and Marco Boccato of Italy led squad 2 with 3232 and an average of 215.47 to move into second place. The Italians pushed back Denmark‘s Carsten Warming Hansen, Markus Bergendorff, Mik Stampe, Jesper Agerbo and Thomas Larsen to fifth place with 3223 (214.87).

With 21 of 24 games in all-events in the books, Jesper Agerbo maintained a slim lead with 4908 total and an average of 233.71. Second place Kert Truus narrowed the gap to 13 pins with a 706 series and 4895 total (233.10). Joonas Jähi of Finland is further 48 pins back in third place with 4847 (230.81).

All teams will return on Saturday for the second block. The top 22 teams after the first block will be bowl in B Squad at 1.30 p.m., while all other teams and the extra players will bowl in A Squad at 8 a.m. The top 4 advance to the medal round which will get underway with the semi-finals at 7 p.m.

The team competition will also decide the medals in all-events and the top 24 players for the masters competition, which will conclude the Championships on Sunday.

2016MECLogo2The 2016 Men’s European Championships will be held from August 17-28 at Bowling Stones, a 36-lane QubicaAMF-equipped bowling center in Brussels, Belgium. The nine-day competition started on Saturday, August 20, and culminates with the masters finals on Sunday, August 28.

Record 218 athletes from 37 European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) member federations – Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and the host country Belgium – participate in the event.

Each team consists of maximum six players, who compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in singles, doubles, trios, five-player teams, all-events and masters.

Singles, doubles, trios and team events features six games preliminaries with the top 4 advancing to the playoffs in one-game format, seeded 1 to 4 according to their position in the prelims. No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3. The winners bowl for gold and silver and the losers share the bronze medals.

The top three players with the highest 24-game total (combined scores in the singles, doubles and team preliminaries) receive the medals in all-events.

The top 24 in all-events advance to single-elimination masters match play in best-of-three games format. The top 8 receive one bye.

In each round, the highest seeded player bowls the lowest seeded player, the second-highest seeded player bowls the second-lowest seeded player, and so on. Winners advance and losers will be eliminated. The remaining two players bowl for gold and silver and the losers of the semifinals share the bronze medals.

The 2016 Men’s European Championships serve as the qualifying event for male bowlers competing in the X World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland. The top 5 countries with the two highest positioned players in All-Events qualify for the World Games. The bowling competition will be held July 20-24 at Sky Bowling.

The Championships also serve as the qualifier for the 2017 World Championships for men and women, to be held at Cozmo Bowling Center in Salmiya, Kuwait Dec. 4-18. The top 12 men’s teams in Brussels will qualify for the combined World Championships.

Photos courtesy of Gisela Göbel and Fed Makukatin.

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2016 Men’s European Championships ready to go

2016 MEC Team Preliminaries – Standings after Block 1/2

Top 4 advance to the medal round

300 games (1) – Jan Macek, Czech Republic.

2016 MEC All-Events – Standings after 21/24 games

After preliminaries in singles, doubles, trios and team (total 24 games), top 3 earn the medals; top 24 advance to Masters match play; top 8 receive one bye

Herbert Bickel

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