The 2014 World Bowling Men's Championships got underway in Abu Dhabi today with the Opening Ceremony as 273 competitors from 49 countries prepare to compete for medals in six events.
The Championships have returned to the United Arab Emirates capital after a 15 year absence, and are due to last until December 15 at the 40-lane Khalifa International Bowling Centre in Zayed Sports City, the leading destination for sports and entertainment in the country.
A maximum of six bowlers per country will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in singles, doubles, trios, five-player teams, all-events and masters in the nine days of competition from December 6 to 14.
The Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) will be represented by 21 countries followed by the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) with 20 countries, while only eight countries are coming from the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON).
This is in part due to a scheduling clash with the Central American and Caribbean Games, which finished in Veracruz, Mexico, on Sunday (November 30).
The Championships, hosted by World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA), the Emirates Bowling Federation and Zayed Sports City, are open to all WTBA member federations who are currently paid-up members of World Bowling, WTBA and their respective continental zone.
Nearly 1,000 spectators will be able to attend the Men's World Championships at the Khalifa International Bowling Centre, built for the 1999 World Championships and which has hosted other sanctioned tournaments such as the World Bowling Ranking Masters, the Asian Tenpin Bowling Championships and the Ramadan Bowling Tournament.
The Opening Ceremony took place today, with the singles competition due to get underway on Saturday (December 6).
The last time the best male bowlers in the world met on the global stage was in 2013, when a combined men and women's World Championships was held at Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nevada.
Finland claimed the coveted team title at the tournament, denying a fourth consecutive win for the United States, who topped the medal table with three golds, two silver and three bronze.
The World Championships are the fourth solely for men since the WTBA decided at its Congress in 2003 to split the men's and women's events.
The 2006 Men's World Championships took place in Busan, South Korea, before they were hosted by Bangkok, Thailand in 2008 and Munich, Germany in 2010.
In 2012, the WTBA switched back to a four-year cycle which allowed the organisation to add a new World Singles Championships and a combined World Championships for men and women to its schedule.
The women will return to Abu Dhabi for the 2015 Women's World Championships from November 17 to 28.
All rounds of the Men's World Championships will be broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV, which can be accessed by clicking here.
For a complete schedule in US Eastern time, click here.
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