Bowlers book Pan Am place
Steve Riley believes Bermuda's bowlers can cause an upset at the Pan American Games, just as they did in their qualification to reach the event.
The national men's team can now begin their preparations for the Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru, in July and August, after clinching one of only two qualifying spots at the Pan American Championships last weekend.
Competing across singles, doubles, trios and team events, the top two scores were taken and combined to give each nation an overall score.
Not only did Damien Matthews's overall average of 212.5, having finished with a total of 5,103 pins, and David Maycock's average of 206.54, having finished with 4,957 pins, prove enough to seal qualification, it resulted in Bermuda's combined average of 209.5 being enough to take the overall honours ahead of the highly fancied Panama.
“As a group, we are all elated to have qualified for the Pan Am Games,” said Riley, the national team manager. “We went into the championships as underdogs, so to not only qualify, but to do so by coming first, is amazing, I'm delighted with the team.
“The competition was really close up until the last day when the guys bowled brilliantly, which resulted in us coming out on top.
“I always had confidence in the team, but for us to win the championship was a bit of an upset, particularly with nations like Uruguay and Panama competing.
“Whatever happens, it is great because just to qualify for the Pan Am Games is a massive achievement.”
Riley will now be faced with the daunting task of selecting just two bowlers to represent the nation from the team, which also included Dennis Joell, Akeem Talbot, Lamar Richardson, Antoine Jones and Blake Raynor.
He believes whoever is selected will have one key advantage over their rival nations, having already competed at the scheduled bowling venue throughout the championships.
“We're hugely excited for the Pan Am Games, but the only downside is that we can only take two players to compete,” Riley added.
“We'll have to decide on which two players will be going out, which will be a difficult decision.
“The bowling will be taking place at the same venue which we just competed in, so for us as a team, that is definitely an advantage.
“It gives us an insight that others might not have into what to expect and how the lanes act. That will definitely help us and hopefully they do exactly the same as we did at the championships. If we do, I'd be confident of us performing well and perhaps causing another upset.”