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Team semifinalists set at 2018 World Bowling Youth Championships

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The Japanese boys and the Korean girls held onto the lead in the second block of the team event at the 15th World Bowling Youth Championships 2018 to earn the No. 1 seed for the medal round Thursday at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., USA.

Japan (right) added 2500 to the 2691 from the block to lead the 31 boys teams with 5191 total and an average of 216.29 as a team. Sayato Takahira led the way with 1369 and was followed by Takumi Hagasaki (1330), Hideaki Hata (1281) and Yuma Haraguchi (1211).

Japan was followed by the Philippines (left; 5147), while Qatar and Finland tied with 5146. Mexico rallied late with a 955 finish but fell seven short of the medal round.

Philippines anchor Merwin Tan threw three strikes in his final frame to cap an 875 final game and catapult his team to the No. 2 seed, and they’ll meet Qatar in the semifinals. Qatar earned the third spot by having the higher team game in qualifying, compared to Finland, 982-955. Japan and Finland will face off in the other semifinal.

For the first time in almost a decade, there will be a new champion in the boys team event at the World Youth Championships, after the three-time defending champion United States failed to advance to this year’s semifinals. The Junior Team USA boys, who won the team gold medal in Bangkok in 2012, Hong Kong in 2014 and Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2016, finished ninth in 2018 with a 5,008 six-game total.

Defending team champion Korea (featured photo) followed the 2553 series in the first block with 2550 to secure the No. 1 seed in the girls medal round with 5103 and an average of 212.62.

Hong Sunhwa led the team with 1347 and was followed by Lee Jungmin (1295), Son Hyeonji (1234) and Kim Jinju (1227).

Korea led second-placed Malaysia (right) by 98 pins. The Malaysian girls closed with a big 897 game to jump into second place with 2534.

Junior Team USA finished the six games of preliminaries in third place with a 4987 total and will face Malaysia in the semifinals. The other semifinal match will feature Korea and Sweden (left), who took the last spot for the medal round with 4956.

Semifinal competition will get underway with the boys action at 9 a.m. Eastern, and the girls are scheduled to hit the lanes at 11:30 a.m. EDT. The format now will shift from traditional games to best-of-three Baker matches.

All competitors at the 2018 World Youth Championships bowled 18 games this week, six in each event (singles, doubles and team), and gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in all-events based on the 18-game pinfall totals.

Qatar’s Ghanim Aboujassoum (right) topped the individual standings and earned the all-events gold medal with a 4,141 total, a 230.06 average. Han Jaehyeon of Korea earned the silver (4,093) and Finland’s Niko Oksanen claimed the bronze (4,078).

The girls all-events gold medal went to Malaysia’s Sahar Nur Syazwani (left), who used a 267 final game to reach her 3,937 winning total. Colombia’s Juliana Botero and Korea’s Hong Sunhwa will share the silver medal after tying with 3,903.

The event’s top individual performers, 24 boys and 24 girls, advanced to Masters match play, which will take place Thursday and Friday. The top eight players in each division earned first-round byes. The bracket-style Masters will feature best-of-three competition.

The World Youth Championships is held every two years, and the 2018 edition has brought 214 competitors from 37 countries to the Detroit area to bowl for medals in singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters competition.

World Bowling is providing livestream coverage of the event, and bowling fans from around the globe will be able to watch the competition live from start to finish. Coverage will include all qualifying, semifinal and final rounds.

For more information on the 2018 World Youth Championships or to watch the livestream, click here.

Photos courtesy of Max Bulanov.

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15th World Bowling Youth Championships – Girls Team Preliminaries

Players with position, country and 6-game total. Top 4 advance to the medal round.

15th World Bowling Youth Championships – Girls All-Events (final)

Players with position, country and 18-game pinfall total. Top 24 advance to the Masters finals, top 8 receive a first-round bye.

15th World Bowling Youth Championships – Boys Team Preliminaries

Players with position, country and 6-game total. Top 4 advance to the medal round.


300 games (1) – Sayato Takahira.

15th World Bowling Youth Championships – Boys All-Events (final)

Players with position, country and 18-game pinfall total. Top 24 advance to the Masters finals, top 8 receive a first-round bye.

Herbert Bickel

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