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Swedes average 225 to take early lead in MEC Team event


Jesper Svensson, Peter Hellström, Markus Jansson, Pontus Andersson and Martin Larsen of Sweden got off to a strong start at the Men’s European Championships team event and sprung into the top spot in Squad 1 with 3375 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).

2016MECTeamAustriaTrailing Sweden by 73 pins to sit in second place was Austria with 3302 (220.13) after Thomas Gross, Alexander Rauscher, Daniel Hahn, Leopold Grundschober and Michael Loos had games of 1041, 1122 and 1139. Grundschober carried the team with a 771 series, a 257 average, including games of 246, 256 and 269.

Third place belonged to Jan Macek, Jiri Hindrak, Michal Janovsky, Marek Talpa and Jaroslav Lorenc of Czech Republic with 3267 (217.80), including games of 1072, 1138 and 1057.

2016MECTeamCzechRepublicMacek (right) 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.

Truus, who had the first perfecto of this Championships in Singles, also achieved perfection at the MEC in Munich, Germany, in 2011. Macek’s 300s were the fifth and sixth of this Championships. His first came in the first block of trios.

2016MECTeamDenmarkRounding out the top 4, who will advance to the medal round at the end of the preliminaries, was Denmark with 3223 (214.87). Carsten Warming Hansen, Markus Bergendorff, Mik Stampe, Jesper Agerbo and Thomas Larsen, lead the medal tally after three events with two gold and one silver medal.

Just outside the box looking in were Netherlands in fifth place with 3205 (213.67) and Norway in sixth place with 3170 (211.33). Romania led after the first game (1145) but had had to settle for 12th place with 3036 (202.40) behind games of 906 and 985.

Squad 2 will conclude the first day of the team preliminaries starting their first block of three games at 3 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST). 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.

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2016 Men’s European Championships ready to go

2016 MEC All-Events – Current Standings

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

Current Standings

2016 MEC Team Preliminaries – Standings after Squad 1/2 Block 1/2

Top 4 advance to the medal round

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

Herbert Bickel

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