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Sweden: Chris Barnes wins AIK International Tournament, escapes challenge from 18-year-old Magnus Johnson Jr.

11 JAN 2012 10:19
After ten hours and 20 games on the final day of the 32nd AIK International Tournament in Stockholm´s Bowl-O-Rama , it still came down to the very last frame of the tournament before the winner could be decided. American superstar Chris Barnes escaped with the victory and the first prize of 60,000 SEK (app. 8,300 USD) after edging out unexpected runner-up 18-year-old home favourite Magnus Johnson Jr. by 15 pins.
  • Skapad: 11 JAN 2012 10:19

Barnes seemed to have sealed the win when he started the last game with an advantage of 70 pins. However, Magnus opened with a spare and a four-bagger and when Barnes left the big four in the fifth frame it was suddenly a wide open game. Magnus continued to strike and put together 8-in-a-row which meant that Barnes’ lead when entering the last frame was down to one pin.
“After all that happened throughout the finals, I was not surprised that Magnus came up with a big last game,” Chris Barnes said.
He was under a lot of pressure but was able to strike on his first ball in the 10th frame which forced Magnus to strike as well. The run of the young Swede ended when he couldn´t strike on his first ball in the last frame.

American pros Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones dominated the earlier rounds of the final, but when it was time for the final six games (Round Robin) things changed.
“The lanes were much harder during (Round Robin) and I had a hard time on all the pairs. It didn´t take much for what seemed to be pretty easy to become very tough,” Barnes said.
He had averaged 245 during the first 14 games, but after losing a couple of games of 200, his big lead had almost disappeared.

When the field was cut down to 12 players (after ten games), Barnes and Jones were joined by international stars such as Mika Koinvuniemi, Osku Palermaa, Kimmo Lehtonen, Tomas Leandersson and Martin Larsen. But the real challenge came from 18-year-old Magnus Johnson Jr., who came up with a fantastic string of games.
Magnus was in 12th place when he started his climb with games of 279, 263 and 289. He continued with the highest score in Round Robin, 1401, and averaged 248 over his last nine games.
“I looked at how the pros were moving, so I decided to make a ball change and move to the left. It worked out very well,” Magnus said.

There was also a battle for third place. Norwegian national team player Glenn Morten Pedersen was able to edge out Tomas Leandersson by one pin. Fifth place belonged to Tommy Jones while Martin Larsen finished in sixth place.
The AIK International Tournament introduced several new ingredients that attracted the bowlers. Finally 286 players made a total of 577 entries. This can be compared with last year´s tournament when 214 players made 443 entries.

The final game of the tournament can be seen on video by www.bowlingkanalen.se.

Results, AIK International Tournament 2012 at Bowl-O-Rama, Stockholm.
Final standings, 20 games (including bonus points):

1/ Chris Barnes, USA, 4794                               60 000 SEK
2/ Magnus Johnson Jr, Sweden, 4779            30 000 SEK
3/ Glenn Morten Pedersen, Norway, 4695   20 000 SEK
4/ Tomas Leandersson, Sweden, 4694           15 000 SEK
5/ Tommy Jones, USA, 4620                            12 000 SEK
6/ Martin Larsen, Sweden, 4585                     10 000 SEK

All results are available at http://www.aiktournament.se/dynamic/results.asp

Skribent: Hans Karlsson

Svenska Bowlingförbundet
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