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Bermuda aim to bowl over the world

Hong Kong-bound: Bermuda bowlers Damien Matthews, left, David Maycock and Rickai Binns will be among the local players competing at the World Championships

Bermuda will be aiming to star in their very own David and Goliath story as they target a top-ten finish at the World Tenpin Bowling Championships in Hong Kong.

The tournament, which takes place every four years and commences on Friday, will involve 51 of the world’s best nations and 202 individual competitors battle for glory, with medals up for grabs in categories including singles, doubles, trios, the five-man team event and a top-24 individual masters event.

Bermuda’s contingent, made up of Rickai Binns, David Maycock, Damien Matthews, Lamar Richardson, Dennis Joel, Akeem Talbot and reserve Blake Raynor, will face the daunting task of coming up against bowling powerhouses such the United States, South Korea, Malaysia, the Scandinavian nations and a host of countries from the Middle East. However, as well as dreaming of an upset, on a personal level team manager Steve Riley has challenged his team to greatly improve on their 23rd-place finish from four years ago in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“The team is looking pretty good and we’re all feeling pretty optimistic,” said Riley, who will joined by coach Calvin Basden in the Far East. “Most of the guys know what to expect and the level of competition they will be meeting, who are some of the best players in the world.

“Team USA will be the front runners of course. Then there are the Korean team and also teams from Scnadinavia and the Middle East. For most of those nations bowling is their national sport and they have professional players. Despite that we are all optimistic and hopefully we can come back home with a strong showing from the team and perhaps a medal or two in one of the individual events.

“We went to the World Championships in Abu Dhabi in 2014, and placed 23rd out of around 56 countries. This time round we are definitely expecting to do better than that and I can’t see why we can’t finish in the top ten.”

The majority of the team are no strangers to marking their mark on the international stage after Binns, Matthews and Maycock returned jubilant to Bermuda after clinching a silver medal at the the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, this year. Despite that success Riley is well aware of the greater magnitude of the upcoming tournament and reiterated the pedigree his team will be locking horns with.

“We had amazing success at the CAC Games but we are well aware this will be a completely different level,” Riley said.

“We will be competing against countries with professionals involved, the cream of the crop so to be able to reach the top ten will be a major achievement.”