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Consecutive title for Finn

19th March, Kuwait: Recently crowned Bahrain Open champion, Osku Palermaa took his second consecutive title after beating top seed, Tom Smallwood of USA twice to win the 9th Kuwait International Open and the 6th stop of the WTBA World Bowling Tour.

Palermaa, who was seeded third, had earlier edged winner of the first match and No. 5 seed, Ronnie Russell of USA, 234-230 to advance into the third match. The Two-time EBT Player of the Year outclassed No. 2 seed, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong, 278-237 to set up the finale with Smallwood.

Having to beat top seed twice, the two-handed Finn flew past the American, 276-232 in the first game and then registered another impressive 268-226 in the second game to take the championship match and the title.

Palermaa, who had won the Kingdom of Bahrain International Open just two weeks ago in Manama, earned another big pay-check of US$25,000 as champion.

"This is an important win for me and my first World Bowling Tour title," said the 28-year-old Finn, who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden and the first international player and two-handed bowler to win the PBA World Championship.

Men's Champion
Osku Palermaa with his second trophy in two weeks

"I got a lucky break in the match against fellow-PBA pro Ronnie (Russell) when he had a split in the last frame to hand the match to me. After that, I knew luck was on my side. Both Wu (Siu Hong) and Tom (Smallwood) bowled well the whole week and I'm extremely lucky."

Smallwood settled for US$12,000 after finishing as first runner-up while Wu, who slipped down to third earned US$8,000. Russell, who defeated No. 4 seed, Martin Larsen of Sweden, 250-226 in the first match, took home US$6,000 and Larsen received US$5,000.

Smallwood ended the exceptionally high-scoring Modified Round-Robin Matchplay finals (three player per match - 20 for win, 10 for second highest scorer and no bonus pins for lost) in the lead with 3105 from five wins and two second.

Wu took second spot with 3033 from four wins and two second. Palermaa finished third with 3023 from six wins and two second while Larsen, who posted the eighth perfect game in the position-round match, took fourth spot with 3013 from four wins, two second and a tie.

Champion with Sheikh
Palermaa with ABF & KBF President, Sheikh Talal Al-Sabah

Russell, who was second before the positions-round, was lucky to make the stepladder finals in fifth after a disastrous 162 in his final match. He had five wins and a second. Dominic Barrett missed the cut finishing a distant sixth with 2925.

Defending champion, Chris Loschetter of USA managed eighth position with 2844 while Round 5 leader, Josh Blanchard of USA ended in 11th position with 2796.

Meanhile in the special Women's stepladder finals, top seed Jazreel Tan defeated team-mate, and No. 3 seed, Shayna Ng 257-206 in the all-Singapore title match. Ng had earlier ousted No. 2 seed, Putty Armein of Indonesia, 248-209 in the first match.

Jazreel received US$2,850 for the win while Ng settled for US$1,850. Armein took home US$1,400 and the fourth highest women finisher was Sharon Limansantoso of Indonesia, who received US$1,200.

A total of 110 players from 19 countries took part in the championship, the sixth stop of this year's WTBA World Bowling Tour. The next stop will be the Brunswick Euro Challenge in Saint Maximin, France starting March 20.

The top 16 Asian have qualified for this year's second leg of the ABF Tour - Kuwait 2012 which will be staged at the same bowling center tomorrow.

Women's Champion
Women's champion, Jazreel Tan of Singapore

The World Tenpin Bowling Association, which is made up of 115 bowling federations, governs the sport throughout the world. For more information on WTBA and the World Bowling Tour, visit www.worldtenpinbowling.com.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Kuwait.

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