Columbia 300 News
Clara Guerrero Wins Back-to-Back World Cup Titles
Shannon Pluhowsky of the USA started very strongly and Russian student Maria Bulanova was simply not in the first game, Shannon winning by 219 to 174. But Maria came back with a vengeance and won the second game 242 to 177. So we were into a deciding game.
An open frame from Shannon gave Maria an early lead, but by the seventh frame it was nip and tuck with neither player having the upper hand. But Shannon’s experience came through, she got the run of strikes and ran out the winner by 238 to 194.
So the women’s final would be between Clara Guerrero, the defending champion from Colombia, and Shannon who was bidding to become the first woman to win the title three times. And if Hong won, he would be the first player from Hong Kong to pick up the trophy, and in any case will record the best ever result for his country. If pole position player Francois Louw won he would be the first South African man to win. All to play for.
Hong opened the first two frames but started striking in the fifth frame, including a really lucky strike in 9th, to win the first game 233 to 219. And Shannon never found a line so Clara won the first game for the women 202 to 177.
A big split in frame three really hurt Francois, while Hong stayed clean, running out the winner by 223 to 180. Clara was just so impressive and won the second game 243 to 238, becoming the sixth woman to win the World Cup two times.
Hong said afterwards: “At the beginning I was bowling too fast and those two open frames meant a bad start. Then I changed my ball and found my form, just taking it shot by shot. I feel fantastic. This is the fourth time I have played in the World Cup and my best position was 9th, so I finally feel I can do it. It fills me with confidence and it shows Hong Kong people can do it. Now I just want to come back next year!”
Clara who has won everything she can possibly win, was also delighted. “It was a tough final. Shannon is such a tough competitor, and I knew if I could only get in front I would stand a chance. And I made the good shots when I needed to. I really want to come back next year and try to win for the third time and set a record!”
Singapore were presented with their trophies as top country by Tom Pippenger, the Sam’s Town bowling centre manager.