Mexico, USA claim World Senior doubles gold medals

LAS VEGAS - Veronica Berumen and Teresa Piccini of Mexico and Senior Team USA's Hugh Miller and Ron Mohr captured the women's and men's doubles titles in the inaugural World Senior Championships Tuesday evening at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.

In the women's gold medal match, Berumen/Piccini were able to withstand a strong charge by singles gold medalist Lucy Sandelin and Tish Johnson, United States, to win the first gold medal of the championships for Mexico, 401-387.

In the men's championship match, Miller/Mohr came out commandingly and cruised to a 450-387 victory over Colombia's Edgar Gomez & David Romero.

World Senior women doubles gold 465The eventual champions led the 60 men's and 43 women's doubles after six games of qualifying on the 40-feet Athens lane conditioning pattern en route to earn the No. 1 seed for the one-game playoffs.

Joining Berumen/Piccini and Sandelin/Johnson in the women's semifinals were both doubles from Sweden.

Piccini and Johnson both fired 245 games to lead their teams into the match. The Mexicans topped No. 4 seeded Lena Sulkanen & Christel Carlsson, 414-393, while the Americans flew past Ann-Ki Larsson Carlsson and Susanne Olsson, 438-334.

The gold medal match was a close one that was decided in the last frame. Sandelin started with a double to give the U.S. an early lead but Piccini countered with a four-bagger in frames three through six for a 14-pin lead after six frames.

When Piccini suffered a big split in the ninth and was unable to convert, the Americans had the chance to shut out the Mexicans to seal the victory. But neither Sandelin nor Johnson managed to strike in their last frame and when Piccini delivered two strikes, the match was over.

The Americans had to settle for the silver medal, while the Swedish doubles both received the bronze medal.

Piccini, who has bowled in adult world championships for Mexico but never won a medal, was overwhelmed.

"I never thought I would bowl for my country again. To win a gold medal in a world championships at this age and against two pros means everything to me," Piccini said.

In the men's semifinals, Miller and Mohr met their teammates Ed Roberts and Del Ballard Jr. Roberts and Ballard, who tied Finland's Timo Mäkelä & Teemu Raatikainen at 2,512, a 209.33 average, after qualifying earned the No. 4 seed with a 20-19 win in a one-ball roll-off.

Mohr, Roberts and Ballard had 170-plus games and Miller made the difference with 201 to advance, 379-349. In the other semifinal match, the Colombians topped Canada's Jack Brace and Ray Vervynck  by 18 pins to set up a title match against the PBA50 stars, 375-357.

Miller, whose resume includes seven PBA Tour titles and three PBA Senior Tour wins, 32 PBA Regional and four PBA50 Regional titles, started with a four-bagger and Mohr, an eight-time winner on the PBA Senior Tour and two-time PBA50 Player of the Year (2009, 2011), had a spare and three consecutive strikes to take a 60-pin lead and never looked back.

Miller finished with 223 an Mohr added 227 to win the second gold medal of the championships for the host country and the first for the men's team. It was the second medal for Mohr after the silver medal in Singles.

"The competition here (at the World Senior Championships) is completely different to bowling on the PBA Tour," Mohr said. "To bowl for your country is something special. This title certainly ranked up with a PBA title."

Miller, who finished in 20th place in singles, added: "I was a little disappointed about singles yesterday, but today was my performance of the year especially the last game. I have never won a gold medal in anything. This is great."

After 12 of 18 games, Mohr holds a commanding lead in all-events (combined qualifying results in singles, doubles and team) with 2719 total and an average of 226.58. Christer Pettersson of Sweden is 124 pins behind in second place with 2595 (216.25) followed by Jack Brace of Canada with 2575.

Just outside the box looking in are Satoru Ando of Japan and singles champion Christer Danielsson of Sweden with 2572 and 2550, respectively.

Three U.S. and three Swedish bowlers sit atop the women's all-events. Robin Romeo, United States, leads the 90-player field with 2539 and an average of 211.58. Sandelin is third with 2470 and Johnson fifth with 2379.

Swedes Carlsson, Olsson and Sulkanen are second, fourth and sixth with 2476, 2453 and 2363.

The 1st World Senior Championships runs from Aug. 10 thru 16, 2013. Men and women will compete in separate divisions for medals in five events - singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters. All participants must be 50 years of age or above in the year of the championships.

All players, men and women, return Wednesday for the qualifying in the four-player team event with the semifinals and finals scheduled for Thursday morning. The team qualifying also determines the mdals in All Events and the 24 Masters finalists.

- Story and photos courtesy of