Kulick, Fagan headed to World Games next week in Colombia

ARLINGTON, Texas - With a field of the top bowlers in the world standing in their way, Team USA members Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., and Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, will look to give the United States its first gold medal in bowling at the World Games next week in Cali, Colombia.

Mike FaganSince the World Games began in 1981, the United States has won two silver and three bronze medals but has been shut out of the gold medals in the event, which is held every four years.

This year's World Games features 48 bowlers from 24 countries, including several past world champions.

"I know that Kelly is bowling great, and I feel like I'm throwing the ball pretty well," Fagan said. "I really like our chances next week. Hopefully we'll bring home some gold medals."

Both Team USA players are getting arguably the best warm up possible at this week's Bowling's U.S. Open in Columbus, Ohio. They hope to turn a week's worth of bowling on tough conditions into success at the World Games.

Kelly Kulick"The U.S. Open is long-format bowling, and every day I'm getting more and more muscle memory," Kulick said. "We're bowling on a medium pattern at the World Games, which is similar to what we are bowling on this week. So it's really great practice."

Several other players in the field are also competing at this week's U.S. Open, including Canada's Dan MacLelland, Colombia's Clara Guerrero, Venezuela's Amleto Monacelli, the Dominican Republic's Aumi Guerra, England's Stuart Williams and Finland's Osku Palermaa.

Fagan and Kulick will have their first shot at gold Thursday when the mixed doubles competition gets underway at the Alberto Galino Sport Unit Bowling Coliseum. The top three teams after six games of qualifying will battle in a stepladder final to determine the medalists.

The players' individual scores from the mixed doubles carry forward and are combined with 12 additional qualifying games of singles on Friday and Saturday. The top 10 men and top 10 women after the 18 games advance to round robin match play Sunday  morning with all qualifying pinfall dropped. The top three men and top three women after match play advance to the stepladder finals.

The United States will be joined by American Zone countries Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Representing the European Zone will be England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Ukraine. Japan, Korea, Macau China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Chinese Taipei will represent the Asian Zone.

Cali, Colombia

(Subject to change)

American Zone

Brazil - Marcelo Suartz, Roseli dos Santos
Canada - Dan MacLelland, Lynne Gauthier
Colombia - Santiago Mejia, Clara Guerrero
Dominican Republic - Willie Javier, Aumi Guerra
Guatemala - Andres Herrera, Sofia Rodriguez
Mexico - Alejandro Cruz, Sandra Gongora
Puerto Rico - Israel Hernandez, Kristie Lopez
United States - Mike Fagan, Kelly Kulick
Venezuela - Amleto Monacelli, Karen Marcano

European Zone
England - Stuart Williams, Hayley White
Finland - Osku Palermaa, Sanna Pasanen
France - Nicolas Marchand, Amadine Jacques
Germany - Pascal Winternheimer, Birgit Poppler
Italy - Massimo Pirozzi, Annalisa Balzano
Malta - Justin Caruana Scicluna, Melissa Swift
Norway - Mads Sandbaekken, Andra Eliassen Hansen
Ukraine - Mykhaylo Kalika, Daria Kovalova

Asian Zone
Chinese Taipei - Hsing-Chao Cheng, Hsin-Yi Tsai
Japan - Tomoyuki Teshima, Natsuki Teshima
Korea - Dongjun Hwang, Nuri Oh
Macau China - Dias Ma Zoe, Weng Sam Chan
Malaysia - Zulmazran Zulkifli, Esther Cheah
Philippines - Kenneth Chua, Liza Del Rosario
Singapore - Howard Saw, Shayna Ng