Team USA's Barnes, O'Keefe win all-events at World Championships
HENDERSON, Nev. - Team USA's Chris Barnes and Shannon O'Keefe earned the all-events gold medals Wednesday as team qualifying came to an end at the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships.
It was a completely different path to gold for each of them as Barnes dominated the field most of the week, while O'Keefe bolted from eighth to first the last game at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center.
In the final game of team qualifying, O'Keefe fired a 269 game to not only help give Team USA the top seed in the women's team semifinals but also boost her into the all-events gold.
O'Keefe finished her 24-game total with 5,209 (217.04 average), while Korea's Son Yun-Hee earned the silver with 5,189. Latvia's Diana Zavjalova took the bronze with 5,166.
"I never looked at the scores for all-events the last game and didn't have any idea until we were completely done," O'Keefe said. "I had no idea because I was so focused on helping get the team into first place and knock down as many pins as we could."
The team USA women entered the second round of team qualifying in eighth place and put together games of 1,074, 1,191 and 1,226 to surge into the top spot with 6,439 (214.63 average). Malaysia earned the second seed with 6,277, Korea was third with 6,262 and Venezuela was fourth with 6,211.
In the semifinals Thursday night, Team USA will face Venezuela, while Malaysia will battle Korea. The winners will meet for the gold medal Friday.
On the men's side, Barnes totally dominated the all-events standings, winning the gold medal by 210 pins with 5,609 (233.71 average). Korea's Cho Young-Seon took the silver with 5,399 and Team USA's Bill O'Neill earned bronze with 5,370.
"It's not very often that you can get that far ahead of a very talented field," Barnes said. "My ball reaction played a huge part in the win as well as the guys I bowled with."
The Team USA men settled for the second seed in the men's semifinals after Barnes left a pocket 7-10 split in the final frame allowing Korea to earn the top seed by just four pins.
The Koreans finished on top of the standings with 6,560 (218.67 average), while Team USA was second with 6,556. Denmark finished third with 6,512, and Finland was fourth with 6,500.
Korea will face Finland, while Team USA will take on Denmark in the semifinals Thursday night. The winners will meet for the gold medal Friday.
The top 24 players in the all-events standings after 24 games advanced to the Masters competition, which gets underway with the first round Thursday morning. The advancing players will bowl six additional games with all pins carrying forward to determine the top eight for round-robin match play.
After seven games of round robin, the top four men and top four women will advance to the semifinals, which will take place Friday morning.
All rounds of the World Championships are being broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV.
For more information on the WTBA World Championships, visit BOWL.com/World2013.
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2013 WTBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center, Henderson, Nev.
Gold - Shannon O'Keefe, United States, 5,209
Silver - Son Yun-Hee, Korea, 5,189
Bronze - Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 5,166
Gold - Chris Barnes, United States, 5,609
Silver - Cho Young-Seon, Korea, 5,399
Bronze - Bill O'Neill, United States, 5,370