United States beats Korea in roll-off to win gold in the team event at Men's World Championships


    2008 MWC

    SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Thailand (August 21-31, 2008)

     Team USA won its second consecutive five-player team gold medal at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships in a dramatic tiebreaker Wednesday.

    L-R Chris Barnes, Patrick Allen, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Bill Hoffman, Tommy Jones and Rhino Page. Click on the image to enlarge it.

    After the two teams tied in the one-game finals at 1,084, Team USA's Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., defeated Korea's Kim Tae-Young, 49-39, in the one-player, ninth-and-10th frame roll-off.

    Kim struck in the ninth frame to start the roll-off, while Page settled for a 4-7 spare conversion - giving Korea an edge heading into the 10th frame. However, Page put the pressure on Kim by doubling to start the 10th and getting nine on his fill ball - forcing Kim to post a matching double.

    When the 4 pin stood tall on Kim's first shot, Team USA began to celebrate with a mixture of emotions - cheering, hugging and even tears.

    "It feels awesome, indescribable feeling. The pressure is unbelievable," said Page, who struck out in the 10th frame earlier in the week to squeak out a doubles gold medal with Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., over Sweden. "You don't want to let down your five teammates and you want to bring home that gold for the USA. After I didn't strike on that first shot, I knew I had to strike on the next one.

    "I got up on the approach and said to myself, 'Throw a good shot. That's what got you here.#" After Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., left a 7-10 standing in the 10th frame, Korea's Choi Ki-Bong struck out to virtually even the match. Allen working on six consecutive strikes, followed with a nine-spare-strike that was matched by Korea's Jang Dong-Chul - putting the game in the hands of the anchors, Page and Kim.

    Page doubled, while Kim struck on his first ball and left a 10 pin standing on his second - giving Page a chance to wrap up the gold medal with a third strike. However, Page crossed over and left a 4 pin standing - allowing Kim to pick up the spare to force the tiebreaker.

    "I've dreamed about this for a long time, and never thought this would happen once I turned professional," said Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, who won a Masters bronze medal in his only other World Championships in 1995. "This is up there with anything I've ever done or been a part of.

    "Rhino has been so strong for us all the way through the tournament. No one can touch him on this (short) pattern."

    Allen led Team USA in the finals with 249, followed by Page with 244, Barnes with 205, Jones with 201 and Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio, with 185. Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., did not compete in the semifinals and finals, which were both contested on the short oil pattern.

    "Lanes 5 and 6 (where the finals are bowled) have been a second home for P.A. and Rhino," Barnes said. "They just keep on bowling great game after great game down there. We leaned on them hard and they took us home."<< It was the second consecutive team gold medal at the World Championships for Page and Hoffman, who shot 300 in the final day of the team event in 2006. "Seeing Bill in tears, my teammate from 2006, it really broke me up inside too," said Page, who has now medaled in seven consecutive events at the World Championships dating back to 2006. "You really feel the emotions when you are part of a team. It was an awesome day."

    Team USA defeated Norway, 1,039-984, in a mistake-filled semifinal. The U.S. missed four single-pin spare conversions, while Norway had nine open frames. Korea defeated Finland, 1,136-1,035, in the other semifinal - leaving Norway and Finland with the bronze medal.

    Korea led the six-game preliminaries with 6,571 by posting a blistering record-setting 3,561 over three games on the short oil pattern Wednesday - destroying the previous mark of 3,353 set by Malaysia in 2006. Team USA qualified second at 6,419, also by breaking the previous record with 3,409 - including 1,194 to start and 1,192 to finish.

    In all-events, Page is currently second after 18 of 24 games with 4,033 (224.1 avg.), trailing leader Choi Bok-Eum of Korea by five pins. Norway's Tore Torgersen is third with 3,996, while Allen is fourth with 3,972.

    Jones is 17th with 3,866 - trailing 16th place by two pins - in the all-events standings, from which the top 16 after 24 games will advance to the best-of-five, single-elimination Masters event.

    The 2008 Men's World Championships marks the much anticipated first appearance of professionals in major WTBA competition thanks to a change in legislation last August.

    Singles competition begins Thursday with six preliminary games on the short oil pattern spread out over five squads and two days. The top four individuals after five squads will advance to the semifinals, scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. local time (8 a.m. EDT), with the winners advancing to the finals immediately following. The semifinal losers will each earn bronze.

    The Men's World Championships, which is being held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan and continues through Saturday, features more than 300 athletes from 57 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and Masters.

    Video from the roll-off for team gold at Men Worlds

    Men's World Championships 2008 - Team event

    SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Thailand (August 27, 2008)

    Championship Round:
    1. United States - Bill Hoffman, Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Patrick Allen and Rhino Page
    2. Korea - Choi Bok-Eum, Hong Hae-Sol, Choi Ki-Bong, Jang Dong-Chul and Kim Tae-Young
    3. Norway - Per Kristian Eide, Glenn Morten Pedersen, Tore Torgersen, Mads Sandbækken and Petter Hansen
    (tie) Finland - Petteri Salonen, Pasi Uotila, Mika Koivuniemi, Osku Palermaa and Lasse Lintilä

    Playoff Results:

    Semifinal 1 (short oil):
    No. 1 Korea Choi Bok-Eum (231), Hong Hae-Sol (204), Choi Ki-Bong (230), Jang Dong-Chul (223), Kim Tae-Young (248)
    No. 4 Finland - Petteri Salonen (161), Pasi Uotila (188), Mika Koivuniemi (263), Osku Palermaa (222), Lasse Lintilä (201), 1136-1035

    Semifinal 2 (short oil):
    No. 2 United States - Bill Hoffman (202), Chris Barnes (224), Tommy Jones (200), Patrick Allen (225), Rhino Page (188)def.
    No. 3 Norway - Per Kristian Eide (182), Glenn Morten Pedersen (157), Tore Torgersen (204), Mads Sandbækken (225), Petter Hansen (216), 1039-1084.

    Title Match (short oil):
    No. 1 Korea - Choi Bok-Eum (201), Hong Hae-Sol (181), Choi Ki-Bong (238), Jang Dong-Chul (205), Kim Tae-Young (259) tie
    No. 2 United States - Bill Hoffman (185), Chris Barnes (205), Tommy Jones (201), Patrick Allen (249), Rhino Page (244), 1084-1084

    In 9th and 10th frame roll-off, Rhino Page def. Kim Tae-Young, 49-39.

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

    Korea earns the No. 1 seed for the team finals at Men's World Championships with record performance

    2008MWCTeamKorea.jpg Choi Bok-Eum, Hong Hae-Sol, Choi Ki-Bong, Jang Dong-Chul, Kim Tae-Young (l-r with Choi Yong-Kyu) put on a show in the second block of 3 games (34 feet) en route to claim the No. 1 seed for the finals of the five-player Team event in the Men's World Championships in Thailand.

    The Koreans had games of 1180, 1218 and 1163 on their favorite short oil pattern to break the championship record for three games by 208 pins with 3561 and an average of 237.4. Korea, which was tied with Team USA for fourth place after three games on long oil (43 feet) yesterday, totaled 6571 pins and averaged 219,03 over six games.

    2008MWCTeamUSA.jpg The Americans with Bill Hoffman, Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page (pictured right with Walter Ray Williams Jr.) rolled games of 1194, 1023 and 1192 also breaking the old 3-game record from Malaysia (3353 Korea 2006) with 3409 for 6419 pinfall total and an average of 213,97.

    2008MWCTeamNorway.jpg Overnight leader Norway with Per Kristian Eide, Glenn Morten Pedersen, Tore Torgersen, Mads Sandbækken and Petter Hansen (pictured left with coach Mats Karlsson) fell to third place but secured a spot for the finals with 1087 984 and 1085 and 6354 (211,80).

    Finland with Petteri Salonen, Pasi Uotila, Mika Koivuniemi, Osku Palermaa and Lasse Lintilä took the fourth and final spot with 6295 (209,83).

    The top four teams after the preliminaries advance to the semifinals. The No. 1 seed Korea will meet No. 4 Finland and No. 2 United States takes on No. 3 Norway in one-game matches with the winners meeting in the one-game title match immediately following. The higher seeded team will choose the lane condition (short or long oil). The semifinal losers will each receive bronze medals.

    2008MWCTeamFrance.jpg The French team Anthony Fabre (248), Emmannuel Michaud (242), Mathias Sarmadi (234), Francois Sacco (265) and Yoan Alix (256) broke the championship record for one game set by Mexico earlier today in the final game with 1245.

    Due to the political protests in Thailand, there will be no TV coverage of the Team finals.

    Squad 2 Results (after 6 games)
    Squad 1 Results (after 6 games)
    Combined Standings after 6 games
    All Events after 18 games