Asbaty makes it three World Cups in a row for U.S.



    2006BWCChampDiandraAsbaty.jpg U.S national amateur champion Diandra Asbaty (left) captured the one major international individual title that eluded her Friday by winning the women's 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Caracas.

     Her 2-0 victory over England's Lisa John in the championship match—232-214 and 226-199—made it three World Cup victories in a row for U.S. women. They have also taken four World Cup titles in the last five years. Click on the imgae to enlarge it.

    2006BWCFinalDiandraAsbatyLisaJohn.jpg It was no cakewalk for top-seeded Asbaty, though she seemed to be playing a stronger line than John. The champion chose a gently arcing line inside board 10, while John plugged away with a down-and-in line between the first and second arrows.

    Asbaty carded 16 strikes and four spares over the two games. Her only opens came with two splits that could have been disastrous had John been able to capitalize fully on them. A pocket 7-10 followed a four-bagger in her first game, and a 3-4-6-7 that she was unable to convert popped up between two turkeys in her second. Each split occurred in Asbaty's eighth frame.

    2006BWCJeriEdwardsDiandraAsbaty.jpg "The two lanes played very differently for us today," said Asbaty's coach, Team USA head coach Jeri Edwards (pictured left). "Lane 20 was tighter downlane. It didn't want to finish. We adjusted by moving right. The 3-4-6-7 split on lane 19 was a case of her delivering the ball really hard and just over-revving it.

    "Her shots in the 9th and 10th frames of the last game were incredible, just pure and beautiful. She is so good at making important shots. Her hard work and inner spirit take her game to another level."

     "I am so honored to be the champion," a tear-stained Asbaty told reporters. "I had some very big footsteps to walk in, because my teammates Shannon Pluhowsky and Lynda Barnes won this the previous two years. I wanted to bring this Cup back home again." Click on the image to enlarge it.

    2006BWCFinalMaiGingeJensen.jpg John earned the right to square off against Asbaty when she defeated an ailing Mai Ginge Jensen (right) of Denmark, 2 games to 1, in the semifinal match. The game scores—227-179, 182-246-212-164—reflected Jensen's up-and-down mental focus.

    "I have been having stomach problems the last couple of days, and last night I came down with dysentery," an exhausted-looking Jensen said. "Of course, it affected my ability to focus. In fact, the tournament officials asked the fans to stay clear of the stairway up to the concourse in case I had to run to the bathroom quickly during the match!"

    John also had to overcome some physical ailments during the week. A car accident 18 months earlier had given her severe neck whiplash, and she struggled during the week to relieve the tension in those muscles. Friday, however, she found herself fighting single-pin taps more than neck pain. She had 14 single-pin leaves and converted 13 of them. A double in the 10th frame of her second game with Asbaty would have forced that match to a third game.

    "I'm really happy with the way I played today," John said. "I was throwing so well from my line that it never entered my head to try to move inside to see if I could do better. Diandra is a great competitor and deserved to win. I'm proud that I was able to play against her in the finals."

    Asbaty's resume now includes the top four international titles available to an individual woman: WTBA World Ranking Masters, WTBA World Championships Masters, WTBA American Zone Masters, and the Bowling World Cup. She hopes to take a couple more stabs at winning a team gold medal in the World Championships as a member of Team USA in the coming years, as well.

    "I thought about this moment every single day since I learned in May that I was coming here to Caracas," she told" I visualized being in this position. That was more important to my winning than any ball decision I made today."

    Then she turned to the TV cameras and said in Spanish, "Yo amo Caracas!"

    And Caracas seems to love her, too.

    Asbaty (USA) vs. John (ENG). 2-0
    Game #1: Asbaty def. John, 232-214
    Asbaty (X X 7/ X X X X 8(1 X X 9/)
    John (9/ 8/ X 9/ X X X X 9/ 9/9)
    Game #2: Asbaty def. John, 226-199
    Asbaty (X X 8/ 9/ X X X 6(2 X X X 7)
    John (X X 7/ 9/ X 72 X X X 72).

    Use the left menu bar to review each round of the women's competition.

    John beats Jensen to bowls Asbaty for women's title

    2006BWCFinalMaiGingeJensen_small.jpg 2006BWCFinalLisaJohn_small.jpg England's Lisa John (left) defeated Mai Ginge Jensen from Denmark (right), two-games-to-one, to advance to the women's title match in the 42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup at Centro Nacional de Bowling Mampote in Caracas, Venezuela.

    2006BWCFinalDiandraAsbaty_small.jpg She will bowl tournament leader Diandra Asbaty, United States, for the title. If Asbaty wins the World Cup, it would be the fourth victory for the United States in five years (Shannon Pluhowsky, 2002 and 2004, and Lynda Barnes, 2005).

    John took a 1-0 lead in the semi-final in best-of-three games format with an easy 227-179 win in game #1. Jensen rebounded with a huge 246 game to level the match. The Dane struggled in the decider and John put the match away well before the final frame.

    #3 Lisa John (ENG) def. #2 Mai Ginge Jensen (DEN), 2-1
    Game #1: John def. Jensen, 227-179
    Game #2: Jensen def. John, 246-182
    Game #3: John def. Jensen, 230-164.

    Jensen, John, Asbaty and Team USA head coach Jeri Edwards during the warm-up prior to the finals.

    42nd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup trophies
    Click on the image to enlarge it.

    Women's Division - Final Standings