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WICHITA, Kan. – Shocker alumni and Team USA teammates John Szczerbinski and Chris Barnes claimed the doubles gold medal in the WTBA (World Tenpin Bowling Association) World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday.
The event consisted of six qualifying games on the WTBA Seoul (39’) pattern and the top four teams qualified for the medal round.
Barnes fired a 300 in the second game of qualifying, finishing with a 1502 (250.33 average) score. Szczerbinski totaled 1237 (206.17 average) for his six games of qualifying.
Barnes and Szczerbinski's qualifying total of 2739 (228.25 average) left them in third place to battle USA teammates John Janawicz and Mike Fagan.
The USA versus USA semi-final concluded tight with Szczerbinski and Barnes coming out on top, 472-458.
Finland’s Pasi Uotila and Osku Palermaa posted a score of 473 in the final game, but it was no match to Barnes and Szczerbinski's record score of 569. “Going into the final match, we were just trying to make a little room for ourselves,” Szczerbinski said, “then we just had to execute great shots.”
Execute great shots is exactly what they did. “I wasn’t even sure of the score to be honest. I was so in the moment that each shot was its own task,” Szczerbinski said.
Though Barnes has many WTBA gold medals, this was a first for Szczerbinski. “Hearing the national anthem play while you’re standing on that podium is a feeling that is hard to describe,” Szczerbinski said, “it’s just an honor to be put into that situation and have it turn out the way it did.”
The WTBA World Championships continue through September 1st; trios, team and masters events remain.
The Rhatigan Student Center has been the major financial and administrative supporter of the Wichita State University bowling program since 1959.