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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

England Duo Takes Bowling Crowns

Nick Froggatt and Lisa John completed a memorable double for England at the 24th European Individuals Tenpin Bowling Cup in Moscow on Saturday by winning both the men's and women's titles, only the second time in the tournament's history this double has been achieved.

The tournament -- the first international bowling event to be hosted by Russia -- was held over five days last week at the Megasfera Bowling Palace in Moscow's Yugo-Zapadny district, and it boasted a record number of entrants: 65 players from 32 countries.

The competitors all played each other once, and their total scores were added up over the week. The second- and third-placed players in the overall standings then played off Saturday for the right to face the first-placed players in the final.

In the women's section, John, the World Youth bowling champion, played brilliantly to overcome Bettina Lund of Denmark in the final, with Germany's Michaela Gobel taking the bronze medal.

The men's final was a rather more nervy, low-scoring affair, but Froggatt did enough to take the spoils from Norway's Kim Asbjrn Haugen, with Lars Oeager of Denmark coming third.

At the postgame news conference, Addie Ophelders, president of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation, thanked the organizers for making the tournament such a success.

"We had a few doubts about holding the tournament in Russia," he admitted, "but let me emphasize that you have all done an excellent job."

Ophelders added that the tournament had represented a huge step forward in tenpin bowling's quest to become a full-fledged Olympic sport.

On a more local level, Iosif Ordzhonikidze, the president of the Federation of Sports Bowling of Russia, hoped the tournament would help raise bowling's profile in Russia, where it is considered an elite and expensive sport. He said that measures were being taken to make the sport more accessible to the masses: 80 bowling centers have already been built in Russia -- there were none four years ago -- and there were plans to build a new bowling stadium in Moscow, holding 48 lanes.

After the news conference, players and organizers moved outside into a wet car park for the medal ceremony. But even the miserable weather couldn't dampen proceedings.

"We ordered some London weather in your honor," Ordzhonikidze joked to the English victors.

After the medals had been presented, the competitors took part in a closing parade around the car park, accompanied by a brass band, drummer girls and women dancing in traditional Russian peasant outfits. Although the wind caused the drummer girls a couple of embarrassing moments, the ceremony passed without a hitch.

"The only surprise [about the tournament] was that there were no surprises," said a happy tournament organizer Sergei Lisitsyn afterward. "Everything went according to plan."