Legendary Walter Ray Williams Jr. captures gold medals in Singles at Men's World Championships 2008


    2008 MWC

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

    2008MWCSinglesGoldWalterRayWilliams.jpg Team USA's Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., added to his legendary career Friday by rallying to defeat Germany's Kai Günther, 213-198, for the singles gold medal at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships.

    "To win any event and be a world champion in a truly international tournament like this, it's obviously very special," said Williams, the Professional Bowlers Association and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer who is making his Team USA debut this week. "This adds to my other world championships (with the PBA)." 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.

    Trailing by nine pins entering the 10th frame, Williams doubled and got nine on his fill ball to force Günther to strike on his first ball and get count to take the gold. Instead, the left-handed Günther - who was working on three consecutive strikes - went missed left, leaving the 1-3-6 and sealing the victory for Williams.

    "I figured I needed to get a double," said Williams, who has a career record 44 Denny's PBA Tour titles. "Kai was throwing the ball pretty well and working on a double. Fortunately, I threw two decent shots to get the strikes, and unfortunately for Kai, he didn't throw the best shot. He bowled great throughout the event."

    With the match even, Gunther left a 2-4-6-7 split in the sixth. Williams, however, couldn't take advantage - settling for six consecutive single-pin spare conversions after doubling in the third frame.

    Günther, meanwhile, responded to his miscue with three consecutive strikes to put the pressure on the living legend.

    "I think some of my experience helped me be calm and execute my shots," said Williams, a 28-year professional. "This means a lot ... something I never thought would happen."

    Williams, who finished second to Günther by a pin in preliminaries with 1,316, defeated France's Francois Sacco, 213-198, in the semifinals. Günther beat Kuwait's Basil Al-Anzi, 210-166, in the other semifinal. Both Sacco and Al-Anzi received bronze medals.

    With Williams' singles victory and Page's silver in All Events, Team USA has the opportunity to medal in every event - a feat that hasn't been accomplished by any country at the World Championships since its current format was instituted in 1979.

    The Men's World Championships, which is being held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan, features 330 athletes from 57 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and Masters.

    Men's World Championships 2008 - Singles Final

    SF Strike Bowl Ngamwongwan in Nonthaburi, Thailand (August 29, 2008)

    Championship Round:
    1. Walter Ray Williams Jr., United States
    2. Kai Günther, Germany
    3. Francois Sacco, France
    (tie) Basil Al-Anzi, Kuwait

    Playoff Results (one-game matches on long oil):
    Semifinal 1: No. 1 Günther def. No. 4 Al-Anzi, 214-199
    Semifinal 2: No. 2 Williams def. No. 3 Sacco, 210-166
    Championship: No. 2 Williams def. No. 1 Günther, 213-198.

    Related Results

    Singles - Final Standings after 6 games on long oil

    Singles Squad 5 Results

    Singles Squad 4 Results

    Singles Squad 3 Results

    Singles Squad 2 Results

    Singles Squad 1 Results

    All Events - Final Standings

    Singles Gold Medal Match

    Walter Ray Williams Jr. discusses his Singles prelims at Men's Worlds