Nicholas Muscat won a historic third medal during the European Youth Championships 2022 after earning a silver medal in the Boys’ Masters Event – arguably the most prestigious championships in the sport of bowling for European youths.
Shortly after winning two bronze medals individually (All Events) and alongside his national team-mates (Team Event) this week, Muscat made history as he became the first Maltese to ever make the final of the European Youth Championships (EYC) Masters event.
Muscat finished as the runner-up after losing the final in straight games to Masters champion Sweden’s Robin Ilhammar.
The Masters Event consisted of the top 24 bowlers from the entire EYC (based on their play in all three major categories – Singles, Doubles, and Team) being put in a best-of-3-games elimination bracket.
Featuring 26 national federations and 93 of Europe’s top male youth bowlers, three of the four participating Maltese boys qualified into the top 24 – Kayden Laganà (23rd seed), Dwayne Zahra (22nd seed), and Nicholas Muscat (third seed).
Laganà and Zahra were both eliminated in the second of five knockout rounds (Step 2) while Muscat kept climbing the ladder.
Laganà was eliminated by the top seed and eventual champion Ilhammar – after three games, while Zahra was knocked out by the second seed – Sweden’s Robin Noberg – after two games.
After facing a BYE in Step 1 due to his high seeding, 17-year-old Muscat then beat Czech Republic’s Ondřej Prekop in Step 2, Italy’s Mario Del Gaudio (seventh seed) in the Quarter Finals – Step 3, and Sweden’s Robin Noberg (second seed) in the semi-finals – Step 4, before losing to the top seed – Sweden’s Robin Ilhammar – in the battle for gold.
This victory gave Ilhammar his fifth medal of this year’s EYC (2 silver plus 3 gold) as he dominated in all five categories.
Muscat averaged 205.5 across these 10 games of one-on-ones to become the first Maltese male to win an individual medal in EYC history.
He is the second Maltese to win an individual medal in the championships’ history, since Sara Xuereb is a recent three-time medallist from the female category.
Muscat’shistoric run in this year’s championships saw him become the first Maltese to ever win three medals within the same edition of the EYC, averaging 215.50 per game throughout.