Asbaty is the top seed for the women's QubicaAMF World Cup finals



    2006BWCDiandraAsbaty_small.jpg Diandra Asbaty of the United States completed the 40 games of qualifying at Centro Nacional de Bowling Mampote in Caracas in first place in the women's divisions.

    Asbaty didn't dominate the women's field throughout the week as Osku Palermaa did in the men's division. Instead, she saved her best for last, moving into the lead Thursday morning and then holding it.

    The U.S. National Amateur Champion, who finished ninth in the 2000 World Cup in Portugal, eclipsed the field with a 225.00 average and 9,000 pins for 40 games. She shot 1,812 for her final eight games.

    "One thing (Team USA coach) Jeri (Edwards) and I do is go into each block fresh, with no pre-conceptions from what occurred before," Asbaty said. "So where this morning I used only one ball, I used four different balls this afternoon, including the one I used in the morning block.

    "I was in the World Cup in 2000, and I was so young then. I've learned a lot since. I've also been inspired by my teammates, Shannon (Pluhowsky, 2002 and 2004 champion) and Lynda (Barnes, 2005 champion). No matter the outcome tomorrow, I think I've represented my country the best I could, just as they did."

    2006BWCMaiGingeJensen_small.jpg 2006BWCLisaJohn_small.jpg Asbaty will take on the winner of the opening semifinal match between Mai Ginge Jensen (left) of Denmark and Lisa John (right) of England. Jensen secured the second spot with 8,820 pins, averaging 220.50 for 40 games.

    "I am really tired," Jensen admitted afterward. "I was fighting out there a lot these last eight games. I left the 9-pin three times in each game on pocket hits. It plays with your mind after a while. Also, I'm up against some really good bowlers and am a little nervous. I just have to tell myself that I'm as good as they are, even if I'm younger and less experienced in this tournament."

    2006BWCLauraRhoney_small.jpg John bypassed Laura Rhoney of Scotland in the 40th game, 238-199, to claim the final stepladder spot by 18 sticks. John finished her qualifying with 8,802 pins and a 220.08 average.

    "The turning point for me was around the third game of the final block," John said. "I figured I was out of it, and I just relaxed and decided to have a good time. All of a sudden, the 10-pins started carrying. It's amazing how carrying a few 10-pins can loosen your armswing."

    The women's final phase of competition begins Friday at 10 a.m. with the men's finals to follow at 2 p.m. All matches will be best-of-three games.

    Round of 8 Results
    Combined Standings