Palermaa out to keep title.
The prestigious annual competition, which has been approved as a World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) Tournament, will be holding its 11th edition this year.
It will be played from Sunday at Ozone Entertainment Centre in Sitra Mall, and it is scheduled to conclude on Friday of next week.
Palerm is one of nearly 100 players already confirmed to be contesting for the coveted title and the rich BD7,500 (nearly US$20,000) grand prize.
The 29-year-old Finn was a one-time winner of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) World Championship in 2011. He is also a multi-time champion on the European Bowling Tour.
Palerm won last year's crown after defeating compatriot Perttu Jussila 289-255 in the deciding game. Jussila is not expected to return to Bahrain this year, but another Finn, Tony Ranta, will be looking to steal the spotlight.
Other top international entrants in the Open are Jaime Gonzalez and Manuel Otalora from Colombia; Erik Kim Bolleby, Erik Larsen and Martin Larsen from Sweden; Paul Moor and Dominic Barrett from the UK; Mika Koivuniemi from the US; Ildemaro Ruiz Jr from Venezuela; and a six-member team from Hong Kong that includes Eric Tseng, Joshua Chow, Micgeel Tsang, Rickle Kam, Wicky Yeung and Wu Siu Hong.
Many other top players from across the GCC will be competing. Among them are Shaker Al Hassan and Hussain Alsuwaidi from the UAE; Yaqoob Al Shatti and Basel Al Anzi from Kuwait; and Yousef Falah and Mohammed Janahi from Bahrain, who finished amongst the top 12 in last year's Open in seventh and 12th position, respectively.
The runner-up of this year's championship will receive BD3,500 in prize money, while third place gets BD2,000. Fourth will take home BD1,700, fifth BD1,400 and sixth BD1,100.
Also coming away with prize money are the bowlers finishing in seventh (BD800), eighth (BD700), ninth (BD600), 10th (BD550), 11th BD500 and 12th (BD450); while those ranked 13th through 15th get BD400 apiece; those finishing 16th through 18th BD300 apiece; 19th through 24th BD200 each; and 25th to 30th BD150 each.
An additional prize of BD400 will be given to the first player to register a perfect game in the competition.
In the Open, players play 16 games in the qualifying round with the hopes of being one of 30 to go through to the next stages.
In round two, positions 19 to 30 will play six games, with the top six advancing.
In round three, positions 13 to 18 plus the top six of from round two play another six games for another six berths in the fourth round. Same goes for positions seven through 12 in round four, along with the advancing six from round three. Then, in the fifth round, the top six from qualifying plus the best six from the previous stage battle it out for three positions in the final.
The final will be held in step-ladder format, and then in the championship game, the top seed will have a twice-to-beat advantage. The Open is being sponsored by Elite Hospitality, Chevron, Bapco, Banagas and GPIC. All are welcome to attend each day of action. Entrance will be free of charge.
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