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Sue Abela strikes gold at European Championship of Champions

National Ladies champion Sue Abela won the gold medal for the second time in her illustrious career at the European Championship of Champions, defeating Danish Champion Mika Guldbaek 2-1 in a thrilling best of three final in Chania, Greece.

Abela, who had qualified for the finals in fifth place, made her way up to fourth on Saturday, with a brilliant 218 average over eigth games, and kept that place with another strong set of four games on Sunday morning to finish well ahead of fifth-placed Andrea Hansen, of Norway.

In the semi-finals, Abela then had to face Nicole Sanders from the Netherlands, who was in blistering form throughout.

Abela lost the first game 247-197, but then responded with her own 248-202 to force a decider, that she won 225-175.

Guldbaeck had seen off the Swede Victoria Johansson with a remarkable 279-236 and 230-224, to face the experienced Abela in the final.

Abela lost Game One 188-225, but then as tension started mounting, she kept her cool to edge the Dane 186-182, and then proceeded to lock game three in as the  Guldbaeck struggled to keep up the pace and so Abela won 182-169 to be crowned European Champion once more.

For Abela, this was her second European title after winning the continental crown way back in 1999.

The men’s championship was won by Mike Bergamann, who first defeated Italian Nicola Pongolini in the semi-finals, and then had the better of Mattia Wetterberg from Sweden 2-1 to claim the title.

Malta national champion Mauro Anastasi finished in 22nd place out of 30 players, with a good 202.6 average.

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