With just the position round to go in the round robin, the two players who had topped the men’s leaderboard all week, Tommy Jones of the USA and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, played each other but were well clear and sure to make the stepladder finals.
Lucas Legnani (Argentina) was 93 pins behind Mykhaylo Kalika of the Ukraine so catching up even with 30 bonus pins for winning, seemed unlikely. But it looked as if he might do it. Mykhaylo was not bowling well and needed a double in the 10th: he got it!
With the women, it was a similar position. Aumi Guerra and Diandra Asbaty were in first and second so they played each other and could not be caught. Sweden’s Sandra Andersson was 108 ahead of Cherie Shi Hua Tan of Singapore. A 259 from Cherie was not enough as Sandra shot 246.
The standard of bowling was immense. The men’s overall average was 235. For the women, there were only eight games below 200, and the overall average for the eight women was 222.
Tommy shot a new eight game bloc record of 2088, beating the previous mark of 2057 held by Osku Palermaa of Finland and set in 2006, in Caracas.
So our top three men are Tommy Jones of the USA, Jason Belmonte from Australia, runner up in 2007, and Mykhaylo Kalika from the Ukraine, the first man from Eastern Europe to make the stepladder final.
And our three women finalists are defending champion Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic, Diandra Asbaty of the USA, our champion in 2006, and Sandra Andersson from Sweden. Despite the strength of bowling in Sweden, Sandra is the first Swedish woman to make the top three since 1995 (Susanne Olsson).
The finals will be televised and will start at 10 tomorrow (Wednesday 7th December) with the women bowling first.