Korea beats Japan to win the gold medal in Trios at Men's World Championships

    08/25/08

    2008 MWC

    Both U.S. Trios eliminated in the semifinals

    2008MWCTriosGoldKorea.jpg L-R Choi Bok-Eum, Kim Tae-Young and Choi Ki-Bong from Korea, seeded first defeated No. 3 seed Japan with Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe and Tomokatsu Yamashita in a one-game match, 723 -553, to earn the gold medal in the Trios competition in the Men's World Championships at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Bok-Eum (five-bagger in frames 3-7), Ki-Bong (seven-bagger in frames 2-8) and Tae-Young, who went off the sheet from the seventh frame, put the match out of reach for the Japanese well before the final frame.

    In the biggest upset of this championships thus far, both trios from the United States were eliminated in the semi-finals.

    2008MWCWalterRayWilliamsChrisBarnesTommyJones.jpg In the opening match of the three-and-a-half hour live telecast on national TV, the Koreans were down by 13 pins after five frames against No. 4 seed, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones (l-r), due to Tommy Jones' five-bagger and a conversion of the 4-7-10 split by Williams.

    Tides turned in the second half of the match when the pros, all PBA Player of the year with combined 66 PBA titles, were unable to double except Williams in his 10th frame. Though the Koreans had several lucky breaks they deserved the win as they played the short oil pattern (34 feet long) very well. Anchor Kim Tae-Young struck out from the sixth frame and sealed the victory, 673-603.

    2008MWCBillHoffmanPatrickAllenRhinoPage.jpg In the second semi-finals, Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen and Rhino Page (l-r) had a good look on their favorite short oil pattern. Hoff started with two strikes and three single-pin spares while the two lefties, P.A. and Rhino, each had sandwiched a spare between two doubles for 45 pin lead.

    2008MWCTriosSilverJapan.jpg Takahashi, Yamashita and Kawazoe  (pictured right, l-r) narrowed the gap frame-by-frame and held an 11-pin lead when anchors Page and Yamashita got up. Page needed to strike out to force the Japanese to throw strike-spare to win by one, Page struck first, but Yamashita responded with his best shot in the entire match: strike.

    2008MWCTriosBronzeUnitedStates.jpg Page doubles and the Japanese missed the headpin and left the 1-2-8 combination. Page struck a third time forcing the Japanese to spare for the win or get two pins to have a roll-off. Yamashita kept his nerves under control and spared for a 615-614 win.

    "We started off pretty well, but caught a little transition in the middle of the game and the ball started to do some sporadic things down the lane," said Page. "We gave them a good scare toward the end. Japan bowled really well and got us by a stick. That happens sometimes."

    Japan received silver and the Team USA trios (pictured on the podium) shared the bronze medal.


    Men's World Championships 2008


    SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Thailand (August 25, 2008)

    Championship Round:
    1. Korea - Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young
    2. Japan - Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita
    3. United States - Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page
    (tie) United States - Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones

    Playoff Results:

    Semifinal 1 (short oil):
    No. 1 Choi Bok-Eum (212), Choi Ki-Bong (226), Kim Tae-Young (235) def.
    No. 4 Walter Ray Williams Jr. (188), Chris Barnes (194), Tommy Jones (221), 673-603

    Semifinal 2 (short oil):
    No. 3 Toshihiko Takahashi (187), Shota Kawazoe (226), Tomokatsu Yamashita (202) def.
    No. 2 Bill Hoffman (169), Patrick Allen (223), Rhino Page (222), 615-614

    Title Match (short oil):
    No. 1 Choi Bok-Eum (223), Choi Ki-Bong (255), Kim Tae-Young (245) def..
    No. 3 Toshihiko Takahashi (155), Shota Kawazoe (224), Tomokatsu Yamashita (174), 723-553.

    Note: The higher seeded team could choose whether to bowl on the short (34ft.) or the long (43 ft.) oil pattern.


    Rhino Page, Chris Barnes interviews





    Asia vs. United States in the Trios semifinals at the Men's World Championships


    2008USBCTakahashiKawazoeYamashitaShimoji.jpg Japan's Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe and Tomokatsu Yamashita (l-r with USBC Silver Level coach Kazuhide Shimoji) squeezed into the top 4 during the final squad of the Trios event at the Men's World Championships in Thailand.

    The Japanese bowlers overtook Norway, which was on the bubble and Team USA II with a final game of 669. Koreans Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong and Kim Tae-Young won the prelims with 3833 and will meet No. 4 Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones (3787) in the semis.

    The other U.S. trio with Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen and Rhino Page, seeded second (3826) will take on No. 3 Japan (3805) in one-game matches with the winners meeting in the one-game title match immediately following. The semifinal losers will each receive bronze medals.