HELSINKI, Finland - Junior Team USA's Brittni Hamilton of Webster, N.Y., earned the silver medal in girls singles Sunday in the opening event at the 2010 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Youth Championships.
Hamilton's silver-medal finish was the highest in any event at the World Youth Championships for the Junior Team USA girls since 2004. The three-time Junior Team USA member lost in the gold-medal match to Korea's Yeon-Ju Kim, 192-155.
Yeon-Ju raced out to a commanding lead in the match, taking a 65-pin advantage after six frames and rolled to the title with ease at Tali Bowl.
"I had a couple of shots early that I thought were good that just didn't react like I thought they would and it cost me," Hamilton said. "I kind of got lost in the beginning of the match, but I'm not disappointed at all. I know that medaling at all is a big accomplishment."
Hamilton advanced to the semifinals with a thrilling overtime victory against top seed Carmen Haandrikman of the Netherlands. Haandrikman needed just seven pins on her final shot to eliminate Hamilton but got six and the two tied 188-188. In the ninth and 10th frame roll-off, Hamilton was perfect and won 60-40 to move on.
In the other semifinal, Yeon-Ju advanced with a 214-204 victory against Latvia's Diana Zavjalova. Haandrikman and Zavjalova shared the bronze medal.
The four players in the semifinals led a field of 107 girls after six games of qualifying. Hamilton finished tied for third in qualifying with 1,320, an average of 220, but was the fourth seed for the semifinals by virtue of Zavjalova having a higher final game of qualifying.
Junior Team USA's Kristie Petravich finished seventh with 1,273, Jenn Boisselle was 11th at 1,265 and Christine Bator was 34th with 1,195.
"I think today sets the tone and gives us a good start to the tournament," Hamilton said. "This fuels everyone on the team and gets them pumped up for the rest of the week."
Action shifts to boys singles on Monday as Junior Team USA's Devin Bidwell, Jake Peters, Craig Hanson and Andrew Koff will take to the lanes.
The United States Bowling Congress is working in cooperation with the Finnish Bowling Federation to provide live video streaming of the semifinals and finals of each event. Coverage will be available on BOWL.com, and the boys singles coverage is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday.
A field of 46 countries are competing in the World Youth Championships for medals in five events - singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters match-play.
2010 WTBA WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Tali Bowl, Helsinki, Finland
(Winner earns gold, loser gets silver)
(2) Yeon-Ju Kim, Korea def. (4) Brittni Hamilton, United States, 192-155
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)
(4) Hamilton def. (1) Carmen Haandrikman, Netherlands, 188-188 (60-40)
(2) Yeon-Ju def. (4) Diana Zavjalova, Latvia, 214-204
(Top 10, six games)
1, Carmen Haandrikman, Netherlands, 1,389. 2, Yeon-Ju Kim, Korea, 1,329. 3 (tie), Diana Zavjalova, Latvia and Brittni Hamilton, United States, 1,320. 5, Hayley White, England, 1,302. 6, Sin Li Jane, Malaysia, 1,288. 7, Rebecka Larsen, Sweden, 1,278. 8, Seung-Ja Baek, Korea, 1,277. 9, Kristie Petravich, United States, 1,273. 10, Lexi Nicoll, Australia, 1,269.