Sue Abela dominates to take singles gold medal

Friday, April 1, 2011, 16:20
Malta’s Sue Abela (centre) flanked by Solene Goron of France, and Rhona Gill from Israel after the ladies Singles event

Malta’s Sue Abela (centre) flanked by Solene Goron of France, and Rhona Gill from Israel after the ladies Singles event

Thursday was day one for competitive play in the fourteenth annual edition of the Mediterranean Challenge Cup, at the Pedralbes Bowling centre in Barcelona, and first up was the men’s singles, follows by the ladies. A record thirteen Mediterranean nations are participating in the 2011 championships.
Malta’s two male competitors, Mark Spiteri and current National Champion Neil Sullivan, fared well in the tough male category of 26 competitors, with Sullivan giving the best performance of the two to place seventh with a six-game total of 1203, featuring a hi-game of 246.

Neil was holding on to third place with only two games left, but then faltered slightly with a pair of sub-par games to fall back somewhat. Spiteri, meanwhile, placed thirteenth on 1115 pins. A fair result by all accounts although Mark, a natural competitor, will be looking to improve on that showing in the upcoming Doubles and Team events on Friday and Saturday.

The male singles champion is Georgios Stefanidis from Greece with a 1281 tally, with Habib Dogan (Turkey) placing second, followed by Italian Marco Reviglio in third place.

Sue Abela and youth star Tiziana Carannante are bowling for Malta in the ladies’ category, and it was Abela all the way in the singles event. Sue took over the top spot after two games and then never looked back. She shot an incredible 1328 series (221.3 average), which was 47 pins better than the top male performance, never dropping below the 200 mark throughout her six game series and finishing with a spectacular two game flourish (206-213-216-203-245-245).

Silver went to French lady Solene Goron, way back on 1181 pins, with third place going to Israel’s Rhona Gill on 1180. Malta’s Tiziana Carannante finished thirteenth on a very respectable 1080 total.

Interviewed for the international media by veteran sports journalist Mr. Keith Hale, Abela spoke of her performance, and record fourteen year history of participation in these hugely popular regional championships. “I think it was in Cyprus in 2002 that I failed to win a Mediterranean Cup medal,” commented Abela. “I always look forward to this event, I enjoy it a lot. I enjoy being here, with all the Mediterranean countries . It is a great tournament and I like to keep up my reputation as Queen of the Mediterranean.

“With 13 nations, this year is better than ever and Bowling Pedralbes is great to play in. With so many countries now it is tougher to get to the top and keep playing.

“I was mentally very good today. I trained hard, using the third arrow with a new ball with better rotation, a better approach and I came here focused 100 per cent.”

Julian Pace Bonello selected for MCC Jury of Appeal

In a meeting of the organising committee prior to Thursday’s competition, MTBA Honorary President Julian Pace Bonello was selected to form part of the tournament Jury of Appeal, along with European Tenpin Bowling Federaration President Mr. Addie Ophelders, and President of the Greek federation, Mr Alex Tzounis. Pace Bonello was greatly instrumental in the setting up of the inaugural MCC held in Cyprus, and also steered the organisation of the tournament at the Eden SuperBowl here in Malta on two occasions, once in 1999 and again in 2005 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Malta Tenpin Bowling Association





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