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      September 21, 2002:

-Previous World Cup Champions Qualify For 2002 Event In Riga

09/21/2002 - AMF Bowling
      LONDON, ENGLAND - Former men's champions Tore Torgersen of Norway and Ahmed Shaheen of Qatar have qualified for the 2002 AMF Bowling World Cup in Riga, Latvia.

      The former men's champions join previously announced Mel Isaac of Wales, the 2000 women's champion, in the field that will compete October 19-26 at host center Toss Boulinga Halle in Riga.

      Torgersen won the men's crown in 1994 in Hermosillo, Mexico, by defeating 1988 Bowling World Cup champion Mohammed Khalifa Al-Qubaisi of the UAE in a single-game stepladder finale, 217-215. The Norwegian star will be out to avenge his 2-0 loss to archival Tomas Leandersson of Sweden in the best-of-three-games "knockout" championship match of the 2000 Bowling World Cup in Lisbon, Portugal. The 34-year-old Torgersen, a self-employed businessman from Oslo, dethroned 2001 Bowling World Cup men's champion and countryman Kim Haugen in this year's Norwegian national finals to earn his third trip to the Bowling World Cup.

      Like Torgersen, Shaheen seeks his second Bowling World Cup title. The 34-year-old Qatari company employee was runnerup to Haugen last year in Pattaya, Thailand, losing 2-0 in the best-of-three games championship match. Shaheen won the men's title in 1999 in Las Vegas, USA, when he defeated top-seeded Frank Boerner of Germany in the single-game stepladder championship match, 224-184. A resident of Doha, Shaheen is making his sixth Bowling World Cup appearance. He is one of two Qatari bowlers to win the AMF Bowling World Cup; the first was Salem Al-Monsouri, in 1989.

      Torgersen and Shaheen have each rolled a perfect 300 score in World Cup competition. Torgersen's came in 2000 in Lisbon, while Shaheen rolled his in Cairo, Egypt, in 1997.

      More than 90 countries are expected to send their men and women's national champions to Riga for this year's AMF Bowling World Cup, which is the largest annual international sports championship in the world in terms of number of participating nations. Eighty-seven countries--one shy of the record set in 2000--competed in the 2001 edition in Pattaya, Thailand, which was won by Haugen and Japan's Nachimi Itakura. AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc. and AKA International Group, Ltd. are principal sponsors of this year's championship.

      Matchroom Sport in England ( will tape and produce the tournament's "Round of 8" action (quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches) for worldwide distribution to select cable and national networks. This year's Round of 8 will be staged in an arena-style setting within Toss Boulinga Halle.

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