Motivated Team USA women and men advance in team event at 2021 IBF Super World Championships

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -
Missy Parkin, a 12-time member of Team USA, has visited the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, enough times to know the significance of the photos that line the walls of the facility's on-site meeting room.

The 39-year-old right-hander has been through countless meetings, meals, orientations, training sessions and team-building activities at the venue, and she quickly realized the photographic timeline is more than just a nostalgic look at Team USA's storied tradition.

Whether she has acknowledged it verbally, written it down or tucked it safely somewhere in the back of her mind, she wants her picture to be on that wall.

The colorful collection is a shrine to all of those who have worn the red, white and blue and found their way to the top of the podium in the coveted team event at the International Bowling Federation Super, Masters or Youth World Championships.

Parkin is one of eight Team USA members in Dubai this week looking to become the latest additions to the wall, and she and her teammates are a step closer to that goal after the first day of team competition at the 2021 IBF Super World Championships.

All 20 women's teams and 30 men's teams bowled 10 Baker games Saturday at the Dubai International Bowling Centre to determine the 16 teams in each classification that will return to the lanes Monday for round-robin group match play.

The team event is the final competition of the tournament and the conclusion of 10 days of bowling on a high-scoring 44-foot oil pattern.

Singapore set the pace for the women's teams Saturday and topped the standings with a 2,339 total, a 233.9 average.

Team members Shayna Ng and Cherie Tan claimed the gold and silver singles medals, respectively, Friday night, and that momentum carried over to team qualifying. A 300 in their seventh game Saturday helped propel them to the top spot.

Korea qualified second with 2,294 and was followed by Germany (2,256), defending champion Colombia (2,252) and the Team USA women (2,236). Norway took the final spot in match play with a 1,877 total, a 187.7 average.

Parkin was joined on the lanes by Kelly Kulick, Danielle McEwan and Jordan Richard.

"This is the event we love and work so hard for, and coming into today, even though almost all the teams make the cut, we still wanted to stay focused and continuing learning," Parkin said. "I think we learned a lot of information about the different parts of the bowling center and what we need to do moving forward. We worked very well as a team today and bowled well, too, and we feel great heading into the next round."

Team USA men 2021 IBF Super World ChampionshipsOn the men's side, Team USA out-averaged the field by more than eight pins and led qualifying with a 2,449 total, a 244.9 average.

The men's roster for Team USA includes Andrew Anderson, Jakob Butturff, AJ Johnson and Kristopher Prather, and the four started the day with games of 289, 254 and 258 for an 801 series.

Sweden used a run of 22 consecutive strikes to surge into the No. 2 spot with a 2,366 total and was followed by Singapore (2,349), Italy (2,337) and Malaysia (2,276).

It took a score of 2,103 to make the cut.

Now that the initial cut has been made in the team event, the teams will be divided into four four-team groups for three games of round-robin match play.

Points will be awarded for each win, and the top two teams in each group, based on points, will advance to the bracket-style quarterfinals, scheduled for Monday morning (10 a.m. local time in Dubai).

In the four-player Baker format, the leadoff bowler bowls the first, fifth, ninth and 10th frames. The other team members bowl the second and sixth, third and seventh and fourth and eighth frames, respectively.

For Parkin, the 2021 Super World Championships marks her third opportunity to be enshrined at the ITRC.

In 2013, she helped Team USA to a silver medal in the team event. They lost to Korea in a total-pinfall match. In 2019, it was bronze for Parkin, after the team fell to eventual champion Colombia in the semifinals.

"It means everything to be able to make it onto that podium to hear our national anthem, and there's nothing like it," Parkin said. "And, yes, I want my picture on the wall in the ITRC. That's definitely something I've been working toward. I think that's an ultimate goal for all of us. We just need to be us and execute, and hopefully, everything will fall the right direction for us."

The last time the Team USA women won the team title was in nearby Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2015. They failed to make the medal round in their title defense in 2017.

That year in Las Vegas, it was the men's chance to shine, and they came away with the team gold. That team included Butturff and Johnson.

The Team USA men entered this year's tournament looking for redemption after their own title defense in 2018 was shut down by Italy, which won for the first time.

After missing the medal round in singles this week, the Team USA men have gained momentum, too, qualifying for the medal round in doubles and trios and making the first cut in mixed team.

Those who advanced in mixed team will return to the lanes Sunday morning for match play and the quarterfinals. The last four teams standing will move on to the semifinals, which will be held off-site in a specially constructed facility.

The championship lanes were constructed at the sprawling site that is home to Expo 2020 Dubai, a multicultural event that includes exhibits from more than 190 countries and will last six months.

The singles medals were decided there Friday night, and doubles competition concluded Saturday, with Germany (Janin Ribguth and Martina Shutz) and Lithuania (Aidas Daniunas and Laurynas Narusis) taking the gold medals. Team USA's Anderson and Prather earned a bronze medal, falling to Sweden's Jesper Svensson and Pontus Andersson in the semifinals, 244-187.

The semifinalists for the mixed team event will be determined Sunday, and the medal round will be held Monday in conjunction with the team semifinals and finals.

Additional medals will be awarded to the most valuable athletes and top-performing federations.

The IBF Super World Championships is the first of three events being held in Dubai, concluding Nov. 15, and the Para Bowling World Championships, which kicked off Saturday, is sharing the stage through the weekend. The IBF Masters (formerly Senior) World Championships will help wrap up the visit to the United Arab Emirates.

IBF is providing livestream coverage and complete results at StrikeCloud.com.

For more information about IBF, visit bowling.sport.