U.S. Bowling Congress Announces Team USA Takes Two Trios Bronze Medals at Men's World Championships

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Korea Takes Gold Medal, Japan earns Silver after taking out Americans in semifinals.

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

With the possibility of an all-American final, the U.S. Bowling Congress announces that Team USA settled for a pair of bronze medals in trios competition Monday at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships.

Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., and Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio - seeded second after preliminaries - lost a heartbreaker to Japan's Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe and Tomokatsu Yamashita, 615-614.

In the first semifinal, top seed Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong and Kim Tae-Young of Korea remained hot on the short oil pattern in defeating Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 673-603, en route to the gold medal.

Korea defeated Japan, 723-553, for its second straight trios gold medal at the Men's World Championships.

Allen, Page and Hoffman started strong in their match, with Allen striking on five of his first six shots and Page on four of his first five. However, Hoffman only struck twice and opened in the final two frames, failing to convert on a 2-4-10 split in the 10th.

"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, who struck out in the 10th frame for a 222 to force Yamashita to convert a 1-2-8 spare on his final ball for the victory. "Hoff just didn't have a very good look on that pair."

"We gave them a good scare toward the end. Japan bowled really well and got us by a stick. That happens sometimes," continued Page.

Allen led the trio with 223, while Hoffman finished with 169.

Like their Team USA brethren, Williams, Barnes and Jones - who had the front five strikes - started strong and led Korea by as many as 35 early in their semifinal. Korea, however, took over as Kim closed with seven consecutive strikes while Team USA struggled to string strikes together.

"We probably were the underdogs going in. Everybody beat us by at least 100 on the short," said Barnes, who had 194 in the semifinal. "Walter struggled on the short the whole time, which I know is hard to fathom. We didn't have great ball reaction and we haven't matched up on these patterns. We grinded our way through to qualify (for a medal), though."

Jones led the squad with 221, while Williams - who converted on two of three consecutive splits - had 188.

Earlier Monday in preliminaries, Allen, Page and Hoffman took the lead after the morning session - finishing their six-game total with 3,826 on the strength of 2,021 in three games on the short oil pattern.

Williams, Barnes and Jones moved into third place after the second squad with 3,787 - shooting 1,947 in the final three games. Japan moved into third on the final squad, finishing with 3,805.

Korea took the top spot with 3,833 on the strength of a dominating 2,109 set in the second squad. Kim converted on a 4-7-9 split in the 10th frame and struck on his fill ball to push the Koreans past Allen, Page and Hoffman.

In all-events, Page is currently second after 12 of 24 games with 2,740 (228.33 avg.), trailing Mexico's Alejandro Cruz by seven pins. The United Arab Emirates' Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar is third with 2,734, while Allen is fourth with 2,697.

Jones is 16th with 2,626 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.

Team competition begins Tuesday with the first three of six preliminary games. Williams, Barnes, Allen, Jones and Hoffman will form the U.S. squad competing on the long oil pattern with Page pacing for his all-events total in Squad 1 at 9 a.m. local time (10 p.m. EDT Monday).

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.

Visit bowl.com for complete coverage of the 2008 WTBA Men's World Championships, including videos, photos, stories, results and blogs.

United States Bowling Congress:
The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to more than 2.6 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

Bowl with US: 2008 WTBA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (at Bangkok, Thailand)

Monday's Results:

  • TRIOS Gold medal: Choi Bok-Eum/Choi Ki-Bong/Kim Tae-Young, Korea
  • Silver medal: Toshihiko Takahashi/Shota Kawazoe/Tomokatsu Yamashita, Japan
  • Bronze medal: Bill Hoffman/Patrick Allen/Rhino Page, United States; Walter Ray Williams Jr./Chris Barnes/Tommy Jones, United States

Semifinals:
(1) Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young) def. (4) United States (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones), 673-603
(Choi B-E 212, Choi K-B 226, Kim 235; Williams 188, Barnes 194, Jones 221)
(3) Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita) def. (2) United States States (Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page), 615-614
(Takahashi 187, Kawazoe 226, Yamashita 202; Hoffman 169, Allen 223, Page 222)

Finals:
(1) Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young) def. (3) Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita), 723-553
(Choi B-E 223, Choi K-B 255, Kim 245; Takahashi 155, Kawazoe 224, Yamashita 174)

Preliminaries:
(6 games)

Top 10:
1. Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young), 3,833.
2. United States (Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page), 3,826.
3. Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita), 3,805.
4. United States (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones), 3,787.
5. Norway (Mads Sandbakken, Petter Hansen, Tore Torgersen), 3,780.
6. Mexico (Daniel Falconi, Benjamin Corona, Alejandro Cruz), 3,766.
7. United Arab Emirates (Hussain Nasir Al Suwaidi, Shaker Ali Al Hassan, Nayef Eqab Al Abadla), 3,750.
8. Sweden (Robert Andersson, Tomas Leandersson, Martin Larsen), 3,732.
9. Sweden (Dennis Eklund, Tobias Karlsson, Peter Ljung), 3,729.
10. Malaysia (Zulmazran Zulkifli, Mohd Nur Aiman, Alex Liew), 3,725.

ALL-EVENTS:
(Through 12 of 24 games)

Top 20:
(Top 16 after 24 games advance to Masters)
1. Alejandro Cruz, Mexico, 2,747; 2. Rhino Page, United States, 2,740; 3. Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar, United Arab Emirates, 2,734; 4. Patrick Allen, United States, 2,697; 5. Choi Ki-Bong, Korea, 2,693; 6. Pasi Uotila, Finland, 2,688; 7. Mads Sandbakken, Norway, 2,678; 8. (tie) Joe Ciach, Canada, 2,677; Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,677; 10. Gery Verbruggen, Belgium, 2,672; 11. Jesper Agerbo, Denmark, 2,667; 12. Andrew Frawley, Australia, 2,660; 13. Frederick Ong, Philippines, 2,639; 14. Hussain Nasir Al Suwaidi, United Arab Emirates, 2,639; 15. Choi Bok-Eum, Korea, 2,631; 16. Tommy Jones, United States, 2,626; 17. Saed Al Hajri, Qatar, 2,624; 18. Cheng Hsing-Chao, Chinese Taipei, 2,618; 19. Jaime Conroy, Colombia, 2,616; 20. Tore Torgersen, Norway, 2,603;

Other U.S. placements:
42. Bill Hoffman, 2,548; 43. Chris Barnes, 2,537; 50. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 2,521.

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