Swedes James Blomgren, Pontus Andersson, and Jesper Svensson went all the way to the Trios gold at the European Men Championships in Cristal Bowling in Wittelsheim, France.
The third time was a charm for Sweden and mostly for James Blomgren, who had to admit the advantage of his opponents twice before. Blomgren fell against Jord Van Weeren in the Singles finals last Saturday and, alongside Jesper Svensson, lost the Doubles finals to Italy's Nicola Pongolini and Antonino Fiorentino on Monday.
In the Trios semifinal, Sweden defeated Finland's Tomas Käyhkö, Juhani Tonteri, and Santtu Tahvanainen 713-673 and took down another Sweden's team of three - Mattias Wetterberg, Markus Jansson, and Martin Larsen - in the finals 746-703, who won their semifinal against Germany's Paul Purps, Dennis Grünheid, and Frank Drevenstedt 667-635.
Robert Andersson, head coach of Sweden's national team, was ecstatic that all six of his bowling athletes received medals of the highest caliber.
'It is of course a great feeling. All bowlers deserved gold today', Robert Andersson said after the final in an interview with Erikas Jansonas from 'BowlingLife'.
There was no mercy in the finals because all six of Sweden's bowlers wanted the gold, but coaches could sit down and enjoy the show as their job was done for the day.
'We have a standing rule in Sweden that we help all the players during practice and then we leave the players during the match', coach Andersson said.
On the road to the final four, Blomgren, Andersson, and Svensson set the new European six-game record in trios competition, scoring 4248 total (236 avg.) throughout two-day qualification.
Although the trio had some trials and tribulations at first, but they managed to prevail when it mattered most. Coach Andersson acknowledged that the team discovered some things that work but wanted to keep them a secret when asked about the key elements that propelled Blomgren, Andersson, and Svensson to gold and the new European record.
'Both James and Pontus are great at using 'Purple Hammer'. Jesper can't, so we are trying to find a way to strike as much with the 'Pitch Black'. I will wait with more specific things until we are done bowling [laughs]'.
According to calculations made by 'BowlingLife', more than seventeen percent of all bowling balls in-use at the EMC 2023 are 'Purple Hammers'. During play, the count is probably even higher. When asked whether players who are permitted to use this ball during competition might have an advantage over those who are not, Robert Andersson was not in doubt.
'Yes, for sure. 'Purple Hammer' is dominating in certain lanes and when you can use it it is a big advantage. There are some really good bowlers here that have contracts that make them use other urethane bowling balls and it is a tough situation.'
The competition at the European Men Championships in Cristal Bowling continues tomorrow, where the first three games in the Team event will be played. Each team of every nation it represents will consist of five players, meaning one player must opt-out.
Benching players is always a tough decision for coaches. Nevertheless, it has to be made. Sweden decided to bench Martin Larsen, who had his ups and downs in the competition thus far.
'Martin is a real team player and he knows that he is at a disadvantage in these conditions. I think he would be upset with me if I did not put him as the sixth bowler. We are still one team and we will work together to try to win the gold', Robert Andersson said.
Gold medal - James Blomgren, Pontus Andersson, and Jesper Svensson (Sweden)
Silver medal - Mattias Wetterberg, Markus Jansson, and Martin Larsen (Sweden)
Bronze medal - Tomas Käyhkö, Juhani Tonteri, and Santtu Tahvanainen (Finland)
Bronze medal - Paul Purps, Dennis Grünheid, and Frank Drevenstedt (Germany)
All championship activities will be held from the 7th to the 17th of June. Twelve best European countries at the European Men Championships will acquire a spot in the World Bowling Championships in Kuwait.