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Finland, Ukraine take singles golds at World Games

Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications
Published: August 4, 2013 | Bowl.com
World Games singles gold 465
CALI, Colombia - Finland's Osku Palermaa and the Ukraine's Daria Kovalova claimed the 2013 World Games singles gold medals before a packed house at the Cali Bowling Coliseum on Sunday.

Palermaa defeated Norway's Mads Sandbaekken, 537-441, in the two-game title match, while Kovalova narrowly beat Team USA's Kelly Kulick, 428-425. Sandbaekken and Kulick earned silver medals.

Kulick had a chance to take home the gold in the final frame. Needing just a mark, Kulick stepped up and left the 3-6-7-10 split, which she narrowly missed to hand Kovalova the victory.

"I had hold all day long and I honestly thought it was a good enough shot," Kulick said. "I'm disappointed but by the same token Daria bowled well all week long, so congratulations to her on a hard-earned gold medal."

Kovalova had games of 218 and 210 in the title match, while Kulick shot 238 and 187.

The Ukrainian advanced to the gold-medal match by defeating Venezuela's Karen Marcano, 257-225, in the one-game semifinal. Kovalova, who will be a sophomore at Wichita State next season, was shocked by the win.

"Kelly is my favorite bowler and it was an honor just to play against her," Kovalova said. "I really thought she was going to win, so I can't believe she gave me a chance."

In the men's gold-medal match, Palermaa got ahead early and never looked back. He fired games of 259 and 278 to easily beat Sandbaekken's 217 and 224.

"This isn't the Olympics, but it's the closest thing we've got to it, so it's a nice win," Palermaa said. "It's nice to know after a long trip last week at the U.S. Open and this week at the World Games that it was worth something."

Palermaa defeated Korea's Dongjun Hwang in the semifinal, 267-182, to reach the gold-medal match.

Sunday's competition began with 10 games of round-robin match play to determine the stepladder finalists. Team USA's Mike Fagan finished fifth, missing the top three by 44 pins.

The World Games awards medals in two events - singles and mixed doubles. The mixed doubles medals were awarded Thursday with Team USA's Kulick and Fagan taking the gold medal. Canada earned the silver, while Mexico took bronze.

The World Games bowling competition features 24 countries from around the globe. For more on the World Games, visit BOWL.com.

2013 WORLD GAMES
At Cali Bowling Coliseum, Cali, Colombia
Sunday's results

MEN'S SINGLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Two games, total pinfall)


Osku Palermaa, Finland (259, 278) def. Norway's Mads Sandbaekken (217, 224), 537-441

SEMIFINAL
(One game, total pinfall)


Palermaa def. Dongjun Hwang, Korea, 267-182


WOMEN'S SINGLES

CHAMPIONSHIP
(Two games, total pinfall)


Daria Kovalova, Ukraine (218, 210) def. Kelly Kulick, United States (238, 187), 428-425

SEMIFINAL
(One game, total pinfall)


Kovalova def. Karen Marcano, Venezuela, 257-225

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