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Ukraine claims gold in Boys’ Doubles in dramatic fashion


Oleksandr Nechypaiev and Mykola Sielin of Ukraine used a dramatic finish to defeat Brent de Ruiter and Ronan van der Loo from The Netherlands, 410-406, to win the gold medal in Boys’ Doubles, the opening event of the 30th European Youth Championships, Monday at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

Pictured above from left to right: Boys’ Doubles gold medalists Mykola Sielin and Oleksandr Nechypaiev of Ukraine.

Heading into the 10th frame the Dutch boys held a 15-pin lead over the Ukrainians. Fresh off a 257 game in the semi-final, De Ruiter struck on nine of his 12 shots for 247 and though Nechypaiev closed with four strikes for 212, Van der Loo needed only 16 pins in his 10th frame to shut out the Ukrainians.

The right-hander got nine pins on the first ball but failed to convert the 7-pin spare to open the door for his opponents. Sielin, who had a pair of doubles in the third and fourth and in the seventh and eighth frame, needed another doubles and a five-count to win by one pin.

The Ukrainian got the double and wrapped up the title with an eight-count on the fill ball, while the Dutch boys had to settle for the silver medal.

In the semi-finals, the fourth-seeded Ukrainians stunned the top-seeded players from the host country Finland, Jesse Ahokas and Niko Oksanen (left, l-r), 412-402, while the Dutch, seeded second, eliminated third-seeded Quentin Deroo and Maxime Dubois (below right, l-r) of France, 436-399, to advance to the gold medal match.

As the semi-final losers, Finland and France shared the bronze medal.

The 94 boys from 28 countries were split into two squads to roll six games of preliminaries to cut to the top 4 who advance to the one-game medal round.

Oksanen and Ahokas rolled the two highest individual series in the first squads, averaging better than 230 as a pair, to cruise to the No. 1 seed with 2764 pinfall total.

Oksanen started his six-game series 224, 189, 233 and 215 before he closed with 258 and 300, the first perfecto of this Championships and the 15th in his career. The defending all-events champion also took the early lead in all-events (total pinfall in singles, doubles and team preliminaries) with 1419 and an average of 236.50.

Ahokas, silver medalist in Masters at the 2016 EYC in Reykjavik, Iceland, used high games of 268, 258 and 247 to take second place with 1345 (224.17). Jake Edwards of England was the only other player who surpassed the 1300-mark to move into third place with 1320 (220.00).

Trailing the Finns by 222 pins to take the No. 2 seed were De Ruiter and Van der Loo with 2542 (211.83). Deroo and Dubois led squad 2 with 2495 (207.92) to move into third place. The French pushed back Nechypaiev and Sielin to fourth place with 2493 (207.75), while the second Dutch duo of Bart van Beers and Mike Bergmann slipped out of the top 4 to fifth place with 2474 (206.17).

Action shifts to the girls’ doubles competition on Tuesday. The 52 girls from 18 countries will be split into two squads which will start the six-game preliminaries at 9 a.m. and 1.15 p.m. Eastern European Summer Time. The semi-finals and the gold medal match will follow at 5.30 and 6.15 p.m. EEST.

The 30th European Youth Championships will be held from April 8-17, 2017 at Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland.

The Championships drew 146 players, 94 boys and 52 girls, from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Finland.

Up to four boys and four girls per country who must not be born before September 1, 1998 will bowl in separate divisions for gold, silver and bronze medals in five disciplines: Singles, Doubles and four-player Teams, All-Events and Masters.

The 2017 EYC will be played on a 41-foot lane conditioning pattern with 25.485 mL volume oil total.

Singles, Doubles and Team preliminaries feature six games with the top 4 advancing to the medal round. No. 1 bowls No. 4 and No. 2 takes on No. 3 in the semi-finals. The winners bowl for gold and silver while the losers share the bronze medal. All matches will be decided in one game.

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

Photos courtesy of Seija Lankinen.

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30th EYC 2017 – Boys Doubles Medal Round

Tali Bowl in Helsinki, Finland (April 10, 2017)

Championship Round:
1. Ukraine (Oleksandr Nechypaiev, Mykola Sielin), 822 (2 games)
2. Netherlands (Brent de Ruiter, Ronan van der Loo), 842 (2 games)
3. Finland (Jesse Ahokas, Niko Oksanen), 402 (1 game)
(tie) France (Quentin Deroo, Maxime Dubois), 399 (1 game)

Playoff Results:
Semifinal Match 1:
No. 4 Ukraine (Nechypaiev 176/Sielin 236) def.
No 1 Finland (Ahokas 192/Oksanen 210), 412-402
Semifinal Match 2:
No. 2 Netherlands (De Ruiter 257/Van der Loo 179) def.
No. 3 France (Deroo 206/Dubois 193), 436-399
Gold Medal Match:
Ukraine (Nechypaiev 212/Sielin 198) def.
Netherlands (De Ruiter 247/Van der Loo 159), 410-406.

30th EYC 2017 – Boys Doubles Preliminaries

Top 4 advance to the medal round.

300 game (1) – Niko Oksanen.

30th EYC 2017 – Boys All-Events after 6 of 18 games

Top three earn the medals in All-Events; top 24 advance to Masters match play, top 8 earn one bye

Herbert Bickel

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