The 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup will welcome some veritable stars of the sport to the Bol 300 arena in Hermosillo in November. Jenny Wegner from Sweden will be back to try to become the 4th woman to win back to back titles following her victory in Shanghai last year. There she qualified for the arena finals in fourth place, but beat the leader, Beatrice Lim of Singapore, in the semi final and went on the beat USA player Danielle McEwan in the final.
Jenny will face tough competition from Aumi Guerra from the Dominican Republic, herself a two-time champion (2010 in Toulon, 2011 in Johannesburg). No woman has yet won the title three times: could it be this year for Aumi?
Siu Hong Wu, our champion two years ago in Las Vegas, will be making a welcome return. He was the first player from Hong Kong to claim the title, when he beat Jaris Goh of Singapore in the semi final then Francois Louw of South Africa in the final, and would clearly like to repeat that feat.
Joint third place finisher from last year, Anze Grabijan of Slovenia, will be returning as well. His third place was the highest ever in the Bowling World Cup for a player from Slovenia.
Family connections run deep at the World Cup. This time we have two mother and son combinations: Sue Abela and Justin Scicluna, representing Malta and Shagdar and Odkhuu Narantuya representing Mongolia . Sue will actually be competing for the 13th time in the event, while Justin has competed once before, in 2011. It is a first time appearance for both Mongolian players.
Then there is the father and daughter team of Valentin and Laura Piros from Romania,both of whom will be competing for the first time.
The husband and wife team of Khaled and Hela Meziou will be the competitors for Tunisia, for the 8th time, while Dhruv Sarda will be emulating his father yet again by representing India. Harsh Vardan Sarda played in the event in 1999 and 2004. They are believed to be the only father and son combination ever to compete in the Bowling World Cup. Watching her son, Ryan, participate for Canada will be Miriam Reid who played in 1978 when the event was in Bogota, Colombia.
Both Mexican players will be taking part for the first time: Arturo Estrada and Maribel Orozco. Two Mexicans have won the title: the first was Irma Urrea who won in 1972 in Hamburg, Germany, the first time women competed, and Alfonso Rodriguez who took the title in 1985 in Seoul, South Korea.
The event is coming to Hermosillo for the third time and no city has hosted the tournament more. The winners here have been Tore Torgerson of Norway and Anne Jacobs of South Africa in 1994, and Derek Eoff of the USA and Jasmine Yeong-Nathan of Singapore in 2008. Hermosillo also holds another Bowling World Cup claim to fame as it was here that we saw the first ever perfect game, from Jack Guay of Canada. That was in 1994 and Jack was there again in 2008 when he presented the ball he had used for that notable 300 to Fernando Gutierrez, owner of the bowling centres.
In addition to the competition on the lanes, the players also look to win the Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Tournament awards. The awards are named after great supporters of the World Cup, Jacky Felsenstein and Barry James, respectively. Jacky was a doyenne of the bowling scene in Belgium and highly regarded by all. Barry James was a British journalist who covered the World Cup for Reuters and published the World Cup Review for many, many years. Two players competing this year have been honoured in this way in the past: Sue Abela (1991) and Paolo Lopez of Portugal who was chosen in 2015.