Top Youths of the World Meet for Championships
26th July, Lincoln, Nebraska: 206 youths from 37 countries from around the world marched past in front of a packed crowd at the Sun Valley Lanes during the opening ceremony of the 14th World Youth Championships 2016 on Sunday.
The competitors comprise of 127 boys and 79 girls, accompanied by 86 team officials and coaches have converged in Lincoln, Nebraska for the 14th edition of the prestigious championships. Fourteen countries from the Asian zone, nine from the American zone and fifteen from the European zone made up the 37 countries.
The Asian zone is represented by Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Chinese Taipei, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and host USA made up the American zone. The European zone is represented by England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The teams paraded in front of HRH Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah, President of World Bowling, the guest of honor, Mr Chris Beutler, the Mayor of Lincoln city and Ms Roma Amundson, Lancaster County Commissioner, other dignitaries, guests and a packed crowd.
Also present was Mr Martin Faba, President of the Pan-American Bowling Congress and tournament director, Mr Kevin Dunkle, Lincoln USBC Association Manager and event chairman and Mr John Losito, Proprietor of Sun Valley Lanes and QubicaAMF Software Specialist.
Other dignitaries included members of the World Bowling Executive Board, Mr Kevin Dornberger (former President and current CEO of World Bowling) and Mr Ulf Sjoblom (2nd Vice President and Swedish Bowling Federation President). World Bowling Presidium members, Mr Addie Ophelders (European Bowling Federation President) and Mr Kim Jensen (Europe).
After the team parade, there was a presentation of Colors by representatives of the Law Enforcement Corps of Lincoln City followed by the National Anthem of United States of America. The capacity crowd was then entertained with dances from a Native American group.
Sheikh Talal, on behalf of World Bowling, welcomed all participants and officials to the World Youth Championships ,followed by the inspiring speech by Lincoln City mayor, Mr Beutler.
Lancaster County Commissioner, Ms Amundson thanked and encouraged all the participants and officials to spend time to visit the historical Lincoln city when they have time off the competition.
The speeches ended with Mr Losito, the proprietor of Sun Valley Lanes providing words of wisdom and encouragements to the participants and hoped that they will find the event exciting to compete in and the facilities and services exceptional.
Hand plaques, as tokens of appreciation, were handed to the distinguished guests by members of the organising committee and staff of Sun Valley Lanes. Mr Del Wendt took the officials oath while members of Team USA, Mr Wesley Low Jr. and Ms Gazmine Mason took the athletes oath.
The official practice was held Monday July 25 with countries divided into five squads. The competition kicks off with the Singles (Boys and Girls) on July 26 and 27, the Doubles on July 28 and 29, and the Team on July 30 and 31.
Qualifiers of the Masters Finals, based on their All Events (18 games from the Singles, Doubles and Team events) will contest Step 1 and 2 finals on August 1 and concluding the championships with the Step 3 and 4 finals on August 2.
Written by Terence Yaw in Lincoln, Nebraska. Edited by Liz Fulton.
About World Bowling: World Bowling is the governing body for the sport of bowling and incorporates 112 National Federations and over 200 million participants worldwide. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee, World Bowling is autonomous in administering the sport and is responsible to promote the development of bowling throughout the world, promote the Olympic movement, contribute to the achievement of the goals set forth in the Olympic Charter, establish rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and ensure that official bowling activities meet the requirements of the Olympic Charter.