1976 Tehran, Iran

Steaming bazaars, screaming traffic, wondrous woven rugs, and the beginning of a bowling legend marked the 11th Bowling World Cup, held at the Persopelis Bowling Center in Teheran.

After placing second in 1975, Venezuela's Carlos Lovera was back for another run at the title. His unexpected opponent in the finals was a shy, 19-year-old lefty from the Philippines named Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno.

Paeng had been impressive all week long, but Lovera's experience made him the favorite. And it seemed from the start that it would be Lovera's tournament; he opened the final three-game set with a 200-181 victory over Paeng. That was all the motivation the novice needed; Paeng went on to win, 571 to 567, in one of those cliffhangers that would become his trademark. The Teheran Bowling World Cup marked the first time that Nepomuceno's fortunes were intertwined with those of Bowling World Cup, but it was destined to be far from the last.

The women's title went to Lucy Giovinco, a university student from Florida who trashed Sweden's Doris Gradin, 620-504. Like Nepomuceno, Giovinco was only 19; but she made her own Bowling World Cup history by becoming the first in what would be a long line of U.S. female champions. Giovinco also set the women's high single-game mark at the time with a score of 266 during her three-game match with Gradin.

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Since the first event in 1965, winning AMF’s Bowling World Cup title has been the most coveted goal in amateur bowling. Whether held in the shadows of the Great Pyramids in or under the bright lights of , each tournament has provided unforgettable moments from competition that has spanned five decades.

Browse the archives to discover or revisit these moments, competitors, and the great champions that have made up the rich history of AMF’s Bowling World Cup.