Qualifying leader Chris Via was one of eight men to successfully come through the first group phase of the World Bowling Singles Championships as action continued today at the Qatar Bowling Centre in Doha.
The American advanced from Group A along with Denmark’s Jesper Agerbo, who had taken the 32nd and final spot for the group phase.
Via averaged 237 for his eight games, including six games between 263 and 233, and received 41.5 points to beat Agerbo to top spot by 0.5.
The Dane averaged 231.25, including a high game of 256 and a low game of 214.
Slovenia’s Anže Grabrijan dominated Group B, rolling the first 300 of the Championships in game four on his way to achieving an average of 234 for the day and a total of 43 points.
Second place went the way of Brazil's Marcelo Suartz, who averaged 212.13 for his eight games and earned 33 points.
Hong Kong’s Michael Mak topped Group C with 42.5 points and an average of 225.50.
Mak was in the top three for the first five games and led runner-up Joonas Jähi of Finland by 6.5.
Jähi closed with 243 in game eight to secure second place with 36 points and an average of 216.13.
Advancing from Group D, meanwhile, were Malaysia’s Rafiq Ismail and Thailand’s Annop Arromsaranon.
Ismail accumulated the field-best 43.5 points, rolling eight games between 212 and 267 and averaging 237.25.
Arromsaranon, who had a high game of 288 and a low game of 161, averaged 225.75 and totalled 37 points.
The highest scoring player in each game received seven points, with the runner-up receiving six, third place five, fourth place four, fifth place three, sixth place two, seventh place one and eighth place zero.
The remaining eight players will return to action tomorrow morning to bowl eight games in group phase two.
The top four will then bowl for medals in the afternoon’s head-to-head matches, starting with the semi-finals.
The same schedule applies to the women’s competition, which was also trimmed down to eight players from 32 today.
Defending champion Kelly Kulick of the US averaged 230.50 for her eight games, comprising 236, 216, 226, 227, 279, 217, 215 and 228, and accumulated 45 points to progress from Group A.
Joining her in achieving the feat was Mexico’s Sandra Góngora, who ensured 24 of her 36 points in the final four games with scores of 213, 227, 225 and 221.
Germany’s Laura Beuthner breezed to first place in Group B with an average of 219.25 and total of 39.5 points, while Singapore’s Shayna Ng closed with 236 to secure second spot on 34.
This year’s World Cup champion, Jenny Wegner of Sweden, posted the field-best average of 232.38 to top Group C with 42 points - 4.5 more than multiple world champion Shannon Pluhowsky of the US who was her nearest challenger with an average of 225.13 for the day.
Four-time European Bowling Tour champion Ghislaine Stigter-van der Tol of The Netherlands overtook Singapore’s New Hui Fen in the last game to head Group D with 40 points, despite only averaging 211.63 for eight games.
New, who averaged 221, ensured second place with 38 points.