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Women Final step 1
Top 16

We know the top 8 advancing to tomorrow’s 4 games. The leader after 24 games is Maria Bulanova of Russia with 5483 pins (228.4 avg.) followed by Casja Wegner of Sweden who was trying to catch up with Maria, but in the end she was short by just 35 pins (5448). The third place was won by Nicole Sanders of the Netherlands with 5383 pins.
Since the top 4 was more or less obvious from the very beginning, the attention was focused on the remaining four free spots. Until the last games there were seven candidates for spots 5 to 8. The lucky ones were Nadine Geißler of Germany, Heidi Thorstensen of Norway, Petra Stankova of Slovakia and Danni Hopcroft of England.

We asked Danni Hopcroft to share her feelings with us:
“I am extremely happy. This is a huge success for me. Today I played my game, but I had problems with carry. So I said to myself I had to make some change.”
So what change did you make? Because your finish was huge.
“After game 6 I made a ball change. I switched to SnapLock and the problem with carry disappeared out of the blue. I still played my game and believed I could make it to the top 8, which I did thanks to the last two games 256 + 269. As I said, I am really happy and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s four games. I will fight and try to get through to the top 4.

We also asked Solene Goron of France to say a few words to us:
“My game today was quite steady. I knew that if I play my game I will advance. I do not know why but I also felt better on the lanes than the previous days. Tomorrow I will have to stay focused and strike more and hopefully I will make it to the top 4. I will have to be consistent since the players behind me are very good and the difference to my fourth spot is not so big.”

Men Group B

The qualifying rounds of the men’s competition have finished. We know the top 16 advancing to the next step. But, firstly, some information about this squad. The winner is Jaroslav Lorenc of the host country having knocked down 1933 pins (241.6 avg.), surpassing Arnar David Jonsson of Iceland (1882 – 235.2) and Catalin Gheorghe of Romania (1875 – 234.4). The top three qualifiers after 16 games are listed below. To make the cut, you had to knock down 3484 pins (217.8 avg.). The last one who advanced is Rok Kostric of Slovenia. Yoan Alix of France and Sergei Rogov of Russia were not that lucky and stayed behind Rok by just 4 and 7 pins respectively.

Jaroslav Lorenc Czech Republic 1954 1933 3887 242,9
James Gruffman Sweden 1964 1893 3857 241,1
Valentyn Kucherenko Ukraine 1948 1799 3747 234,2

Men Group B – Block 2 was spiced up with two perfect games - Catalin Gheorghe of Romania and Glenn Robson of Wales. Despite having seen really high games and averages we had not experienced a perfect game until the fifth game of squad two when G. Robson shot it. In game seven, C. Gheorghe made another one.

Men Group A

Group A has just finished their second block. We have seen a lot of great bowling this morning. 18 players out of 20 exceeded the 200 average. The winner was the same as in the first block of this group – James Gruffman of Sweden who knocked down 1893 pins (236.6 avg.). Antonio Fiorentino of Italy came second with only 2 pins behind James (1891 – 236.4 avg.). Also, the difference between the first and the third (Hadley Morgan of England) was not huge – just 11 pins (1882 – 235.2 avg.).
The top three after the 16 games of the first half of the competitors is as follows:

James Gruffman Sweden 1964 1893 3857 241,1
Valentyn Kucherenko Ukraine 1948 1799 3747 234,2
Antonino Fiorentino Italy 1835 1891 3726 232,9

We asked Antonio to say a few words about his performance today:
“I am really satisfied with my today’s performance. I bowled quite well, except for one low game of 171 where I could not get locked in. I made wrong adjustments as well. On the next pair of lanes, I was fortunately able to get back to my game.”

You nearly bowled a perfect game. What went wrong in the 11th shot?
“I was a great shot. It went perfectly to the pocket, but 7-10 remained standing. The messenger knocked down the ten pin, but I did not get any help from the pins to push down the seven pin.”

How do you see the lanes?
“I must say that this is one of the best, if not even the best, bowling centres I have ever bowled at. The lanes are great and they suit my game. And the environment around the lanes is amazing too.”

Women Group B

We have just closed the qualifying rounds of the woman’s competition. This squad was dominated by the defending champion, Maria Bulanova of Russia (in the middle), with a pinfall of 1897 (237 avg.). Second spot was earned by Sara Xuereb of Malta (on the left) (1758 – 219 avg.), followed by Nicole Sanders of the Netherlands (on the right) (1708 – 213 avg.).After 16 games, the top 3 were as follows:

Maria Bulanova Russia 1819 1897 3716 232,2
Cajsa Wegner Sweden 1825 1784 3609 225,6
Nicole Sanders Netherlands 1851 1708 3559 222,4

To make the cut, the total pinfall of 3144 was necessary (196 avg.). The lucky one earning the 16th spot was Veronique Perniaux of Belgium. You will find more information in the Results section.
We asked Maria to reveal us the secret why she was better today than yesterday:
“Yesterday I was getting acquainted with the lanes. I used a ball with more surface that did not work all the time. Today they changed a bit and they suited me better. I could use my favourite ball, a shinier one that went further down the lane and then hooked. I hope tomorrow the lanes will stay the same as today.”