Kai Virtanen and Kim Soo-Kyung crowned World Games Champions


    2005 World Games

    Bowling Alley: Joe's Super Bowling in M√ľlheim on the Ruhr, Germany

    WG2005SinglesChampions.jpg Kai Virtanen from Finland and Kim Soo-Kyung from Korea won the men's and women's titles at the 7th World Games 2005. The decision in both championship matches were made in the very last frame.

    Virtanen topped Gery Verbruggen from Belgium, 444-424 to win the men's title. Soo-Kyung, who led since the qualifying, edged Zara Glover from England by one pin (!!) to earn the gold medal in the women's division, 416-415.

    In the opening matches, Andrew Cain, USA, fell to Virtanen 228-148, while Glover defeated Caroline Lagrange, CAN, 227-167.


    Men's Championship Round

    Championship Match (two games total pinfall):
    #3 Kai Virtanen (FIN) 444 (233+211) defeated
    #1 Gery Verbruggen (BEL) - 424 (226+198)

    Men's Semifinal (one-game match)
    #3 Kai Virtanen (FIN) defeated #2 Andrew Cain (USA), 228-148

    Women's Championship Round

    Championship Match (two games total pinfall):
    #1 Kim Soo-Kyung (KOR) 416 (234+182) defeated
    #3 Zara Glover (ENG) 415 (240+175)

    Women's Semifinal (one-game match)
    #3 Zara Glover (ENG) defeated #2 Caroline Lagrange (CAN), 227-167

    Virtanen wins another major title; Verbruggen settles for silver

     Kai Virtanen, the reigning AMF World Cup champion, used the momentum from his semifinal victory over Andrew Cain to defeat 1997 World Games Champion Gery Verbruggen from Belgium in the men's championship match over two games total pinfall, 444-424.

    Verbruggen, 4-time European ranking leader, former World and World Ranking Masters champion, started Game #1 with a double and fired six consecutive strikes from frame 6-11 but also suffered two splits that resulted in open frames (3, 5). Virtanen, member of Team Finland that won all six gold medals at the 2005 European Championships, had a five-bagger from frame 7 and bowled a clean game to lead by 7 pins, 233-226.

    A single-pin miss in the 3rd frame of Game #2 gave the Finn a 12-pin advantage in frame 5. Both players doubled in frames 6-7, when Virtanen left a 4-9 split ….. and spared it! Verbruggen countered with two more strikes. Finishing first, Verbruggen needed a double and an 8 count to shut out Virtanen.

    However, the first ball went flat on the nose, leaving a 2-4-6-7-10 split and handing the match to the Finn. Kai Virtanen became sixth European men's World Games in seven events (Y.C. Ma (TPE) won in 1989). Gery Verbruggen earned the silver medal.


    Virtanen advances to the finals; Cain earns bronze medal

    Reigning World Cup champion and 2-time European champion Kai Virtanen defeated Team USA member Andrew Cain to advance to the men's finals at the 7th World Games. Cain, 23, who suffered five open frames, including four splits, had to settle for the bronze medal.

    Cain, one of three lefties in the men's field (Dutch Wim van der Veen and No. 1 seed Gery Verbruggen are the others) started with a double, while Virtanen spared a split and reeled off four consecutive strikes. The Finn led by 35 pins in the fourth frame, after the 2001 U.S. National Amateur Champion failed to convert split in his third frame. Working on a strike in frame 5, Cain got a pocket 7-10 split.

    "That changed the momentum," Cain said. "If it would have carried I would have been in the match. After the split, the game was lost."

    Virtanen cruised to victory with a double in frames 7 and 8 and finished with strikes in the 10th frame, 228-148.


    Soo-Kyung wins women's title and her second medal, Glover gets silver

     The women's championship match at the 7th World Games in Germany was a thriller. Kim Soo-Kyung from Korea, who led the women's division in qualifying and after match play edged 3-time World Champion Zara Glover from England by one pin to earn the gold medal, 416-415.

    Kim started out commandingly with three strikes and bowled a clean game including two doubles to finish with 234. Glover alternated strikes and spares in the first six frames but finished with a six-bagger to take a 6-pin lead with 240-234.


    Tides turned in Game #2 when Glover suffered two open frames in the 2nd and 4th, while Kim had a double in frames 2-3 to lead 83-49 after four. Glover opened again in frame six then reeled off three strikes in frames 7-9 to narrow the gap. Kim finished with three spares after an open in frame 5, and spared a split in her 10th frame for 182.

    Glover needed another strike to win the game and the match but got a 9-count and spared the single pin. She then needed a strike on the fill ball for 176 to tie the match, but again got a 9-count to lose by one pin!

    Kim won the first gold medal for Korea ever in the history of the World Games. Glover earned silver, Caroline Lagrange from Canada bronze.


    Glover beats Lagrange to advance to the women's finals, Canadian gets bronze

    In the opening match of the women's finals in the 7th World Games at Joe's SuperBowling in M√ľlheim on the Ruhr, Germany, No. 3 seeded Zara Glover from England topped Caroline Lagrange from Canada, 227-167, to earn the right to meet No. seeded Kim Soo-Kyung from Korea in the championship match.

    3-time World Champion Glover failed to convert a split in frame one but struck seven times in the remaining nine frames to put the match away well before the final frame. The young Canadian opened in frames 3, 5, and 7 and was unable to double in the first nine frames. She finished the World Games in style with three strikes to earn the bronze medal.