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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tbilisi, Georgia International Bowling Championship - June 25-26, 2011

In a bid to help develop and promote bowling practices in Georgia, the newly established Bowling Federation of Georgia organized the Tbilisi International Championship on June 25-26.
The game was arranged at the Tskneti’s Kopala Sports Complex near Tbilisi which also contains a bowling center. In total, 26 local and foreign bowlers took part in the championship, from which 13 were local players, four from Lithuania, four from Ukraine and five came from Azerbaijan.

In the tense semifinal, the representatives of Azerbaijan, Lithuania, and Ukraine put on an impressive performance so that the prize fund of $ 3000 introduced by Axis, a local developer, was distributed among them.

In particular, Zilvinas Perminas from Lithuania became the number one bowler. He has been the champion of Europe several times over and a world champion. Elhan Faizullaev and Ramil Hamidov, both from Azerbaijan took second and third place respectively.

Irakli Tsuladze of Georgia, who is the Vice President of the Bowling Federation of Georgia and has created hand-made cups for bowling championship winners, was named as the best player at the competition.

Interestingly, Elhan Faizullaev, who is the Vice-President of Azerbaijan’s Bowling Federation, contributed his prize money to a special fund which will support the development of bowling in Georgia.

According to the championship’s organizers, the first competition has proved to be a success, so they plan to arrange additional competitions in the future as well. Mako Jaoshvili, Vice President of the Bowling Federation of Georgia, said that in the fall the Federation plans to organize its next competition, which will be on an “even more attractive and larger-scale.”

“Bowling, which is both enjoyable and helps to burn calories, is being developed actively in the country. We plan to make all efforts to support the development of this game as a sport,” Jaoshvili commented. She added that despite the Georgian players that were not present in the championship’s final game, organizing such an event is “already a victory for Georgian bowling.”

Bowling in some ways is a quintessentially American pastime and has struggled in the past to gain a foothold in the Georgian imagination. Georgian bowling does not have a rich history; the country’s single bowling center built a decade ago was closed five or six years ago and it was only last year that Bowling Central at Tbilisi Central Shopping Mall opened its doors for bowling lovers.

Apart from this single opportunity in the capital, there is also Tskneti’s Kopala Sports Complex available for bowling fun.