HELSINKI, Finland - The United States boys doubles teams earned the gold and silver medals Wednesday at the 2010 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Youth Championships.
Junior Team USA's Craig Hanson and Andrew Koff won the gold medal by defeating teammates Devin Bidwell and Jake Peters, 428-426, in the championship match at Tali Bowl. Hanson shot 227 and Koff had 201, while Bidwell shot 222 and Peters fired 204.
The United States is the only country in the history of the event to win both the gold and silver in the same year. It last happened in 1988 in Manila, Philippines, when the event was known as the International Youth Championships.
"It was really relaxing, and we were just having fun out there doing our best," Koff said. "We got both medals, that's what we were out here for."
In the gold-medal match, Bidwell and Peters looked like they would be on their way to the title, leading by more than 50 pins at the halfway point. But Hanson finished with six consecutive strikes and then Koff doubled in the 10th to give them the gold.
"We never let ourselves get out of it mentally," Hanson said. "We talked to each other and said that we needed to have a strong last half, make a good ball change, make good shots and hopefully that would get us the gold."
Even though they were bowling their teammates, Bidwell said both doubles teams wanted to come out on top.
"Of course we wanted to win as a team, but it was still a doubles event, so we wanted to win it just as bad as they did," Bidwell said. "It's really cool to have both teams on top, though, and this gives us momentum heading into the team event."
In the semifinals, Hanson shot 182 and Koff had 198 as they took down top seed Korea, 380-363. Ju-Young Kim shot 185, while Seung-Hyeon Shin had 178 for Korea.
Bidwell fired 194, while Peters had 192 as they knocked off Malaysia, 386-343. Aris Ardilla had 174, and Syimir Razak shot 169 for Malaysia.
In all-events, Mats Maggi of Belgium leads the field with 2,748, an average of 229. Koff is the highest U.S. player as he sits in third place with 2,701.
The top 16 players after 18 games advance to Masters match play based on their all-events totals. For the rest of Junior Team USA, Hanson sits in 21st place with 2,535, Peters is 29th with 2,498 and Bidwell is 35th at 2,473.
Action shifts to girls and boys team qualifying Thursday and Friday. 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 team event coverage is scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.
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)
(4) Craig Hanson/Andrew Koff, United States def. (2) Devin Bidwell/Jake Peters, United States, 428-426
(Winners advance, losers tie for bronze)
(4) Hanson/Koff def. Ju-Young Kim/Seung-Hyeon Shin, Korea, 380-363
(2) Bidwell/Peters def. Aris Ardilla/Syimir Razak, Malaysia, 386-343
(Top 10, six games)
1, Ju-Young Kim/Seung-Hyeon Shin, Korea, 2,705. 2, Devin Bidwell/Jake Peters, United States, 2,678. 3, Aris Ardilla/Syimir Razak, Malaysia, 2,638. 4, Craig Hanson/Andrew Koff, United States, 2,632. 5, Richard Teece/Matt Chamberlain, England, 2,554. 6, Hae-Sol Hong/Jong-Woo Park, Korea, 2,542. 7, Adam Cairns/Steven Miller, England, 2,537. 8, Kevin McRae/Sam Cooley, Australia, 2,532. 9, Phil Hulst/Dwayne van Zandwijk, Netherlands, 2,510. 10, Mattias Wetterberg/Kim Bolleby, Sweden, 2,503.
(Top 10 after 12 of 18 games)
1, Mats Maggi, Belgium, 2,748. 2, Jong-Woo Park, Korea, 2703. 3, Andrew Koff, United States, 2,701. 4, Steven Miller, England, 2,653. 5, Sam Cooley, Australia, 2,650. 6, Daniels Vezis, Latvia, 2,612. 7, Hae-Sol Hong, Korea, 2,593. 8, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 2,583. 9, Dwayne van Zandwijk, Netherlands, 2,577. 10, Adam Cairns, England, 2,558.