For the second time in a row, the Association of Sports Journalists chose Tomas Käyhko as the best bowler in Finland. Käyhkö, who won World Cup silver, will head to the United States in March to play in the professional series tournaments.
Immediately It should be noted at the beginning that Finland is the best bowler Tomas Käyhkö has not seen Ethan and Joel Coenin controlled by The Big Lebowski movie. No, although it does a lot of bowling.
Conversation about Jesus Quintana, a macho bowler licking a bowling ball (John Turturro) immediately.
“I’ve seen some snippets of it,” Käyhkö says calmly.
Käyhkö, 24, is like the opposite of Quintana. He lists calmness and concentration as his best qualities. However, he has some mandatory patterns before throwing.
“Before every throw, I try to do all things the same way. If something doesn’t feel right, I’ll drop the ball and start again. ”
Are there any weird patterns?
“Not like that now. I blow my hands a little and wipe the soles of my shoes. ”
Modesty is also part of Käyhkö. Along these lines:
“I’m a bit like a bowler now.”
It’s bad started bowling at the age of 10 in Joensuu when a few schoolmates had first been bowling.
“The guys stopped for a while, but I continued.”
The road from Joensuu led to Mikkeli, where he began studying electrical and automation engineering at the University of Applied Sciences.
“I studied for 1.5 years. It didn’t quite taste. I really wanted to bowle, and I can’t fully invest in both at the same time. I interrupted my studies, and then the halls closed almost immediately, ”Käyhkö says, referring to the start of the corona pandemic in the spring of 2020.
When the halls closed, he started working at the SOL logistics center in Mikkeli as a mail sorter. He’s still in those jobs, sort of.
“I have got pretty free working hours. Basically, I’m just bowling at the moment, but sometimes I’m there too. ”
Although Käyhkö is from Joensuu and lives in Mikkeli, at the club level he represents the Mainars of Varkaus.
“I represent Mainare in Varkaus just because I get to play in the Finnish Championship. In bowling, this kind of arrangement is quite typical. ”
Have you been to Varkaus?
“Yes, I’m going to throw races there, but there’s no other connection.”
It’s bad trains mainly in the Keilakukko hall in Mikkeli without a coach, but the coaches of the national team are involved in the training. He bowles six days a week for 1.5-2.5 hours a day and also does other exercises at the gym.
However, there is not always much time left to practice.
“We have a lot of competitions. Last season, for example, 1,800 race series were thrown. Almost every hall in Finland has competitions all the time. ”
There is also a clear reason for intense competition.
“They give me cash prizes, which I also support myself.”
Do you go around Finland cleaning the table?
“Yes, there are a lot of good bowlers in Finland, and with the help of handicapping tables, even the worst can do well on a good day.”
The biggest cash prize so far is 7,000 euros.
Come on his biggest competitive success came last November in Dubai when he took the World Cup silver. Especially in the semi-finals, Käyhkö’s pressure resistance was put to the test.
“It had a disgusting start when we started the five-minute workout. The outer tracks had slimmer runways. The shoe immediately came off my heel and I flew on my back. I quickly had to put a new sole on the shoe, and at the same time had to choose which track to throw. ”
However, Käyhkö won his semifinals and advanced to the finals.
“I got it handled, but the rush came and I felt I had to practice in a hurry.”
By the way, there have been no bigger missteps in the bigger competitions, but there have been some happenings in the smaller ones.
“I’ve sometimes stumbled upon my own feet, and the foot has gone over the throwing limit. That’s zero points then. ”
It’s bad indeed, it is precisely pressure resilience and concentration that play a large part in success. In his own play, he raises the throwing technique to development.
“The technology is a bit flawed. There have to be other strengths – like how you play the tracks and dare to make changes in time. ”
Here the calmness of Käyhkö turns into enthusiasm. He begins to lecture on the oil used to protect the wooden surface of the tracks.
“The tracks are oiled differently. The oil travels on the track, and you have to be able to react to changes in the oil, ”Käyhkö begins.
So do you go to the tracks before the matches?
“No, there is a track oil profile online. The oil can be applied from 33 feet [noin 10 metriä] 50 feet [noin 15 metriä]. There is usually more oil in the middle of the track than at the edges. The more fat in the middle and the less edge, the easier the track. When tossed, the dry edge can be used. ”
And that’s not all.
“When the balls start to go from the middle of the track, it consumes oil and creates dry spots on the track. The oil also travels with the ball to the rest of the track, where the oil has not been applied, ”says Käyhkö.
“You have to be able to read the movement of the ball and make changes accordingly [heittoihin]to get the ball at a good angle to the bowls. It’s easier if one has an area of half a meter to throw and the other ten cents. ”
It goes even further that it also affects the course of who has been throwing during the day.
That is, there must be an understanding of oil.
“Even for top players, it’s continuous learning. It will take several years before this begins to be understood, ”says Käyhkö.
It’s bad estimates that he himself is a little better off on lines where oil has been spread over longer distances.
“Somewhere in the halls, I’ve been more successful. For example, in the Jyväskylä hall, I have not lost for three years more than once, and that too came for a left-handed player. ”
With the left-handed, the ball usually rotates from the left edge of the track, meaning he uses a different area of the track for his throws than the right-handed.
All in all, Käyhkö is fascinated by the fact that he always learns new things and can never be perfect.
“The tracks are changing, and racing is a bit like solving a problem all the time.”
Own his thing is a throwback. Käyhkö throws a bowling ball with both hands. It is a common technology for top players. The ball is also different then: it only has two holes for the fingers, while a traditional bowling ball also has a hole for the thumb.
Käyhkö switched to two-handed throwing technology at the age of 14.
“Throwing two hands is more physical than one hand. You have to use more power and you get more twist. ”
The downside is that the accuracy can suffer and the strain is also different.
“Throwing two hands takes more back.”
A new challenge Käyhkö is ahead in March when he leaves together Santtu Tahvanainen and Jarno Lahti with the United States. In just over a month, the trio will take part in five trade union PBA tournaments with Finns Mika Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa have reaped fame in the past.
“When I go as a brand new player, I have to qualify for almost every tournament,” says Käyhkö.
What is also new is that American professionals play in a different style than, for example, European players. Again, the importance of oil will come.
“Players have more power and twist in the ball there, so the tracks change differently.”
According to Käyhkö, the main goal now is to seek experience and a sense of whether the PBA tour tournaments could be successful. The goal is clear.
“I hope to be a professional bowler in the United States as soon as possible.”
Bowling has been sidelined in television sports, for example, as many new sports have pushed ahead. Käyhkö emphasizes that the sport has moved in a more sporty direction, as evidenced by the decline in the average age of players.
I really want more appreciation for the species.
“Even though I won the World Cup medal, I knew there was no seam to make it to the Athlete of the Year vote,” says Käyhkö, who finished 27th. He got one number one vote. “Olympic status could raise the profile.”
Bowling was nominated for both the Tokyo and Paris 2024 Olympics, but the selection hit other sports.
“Maybe next time.”
Its own thing is the practice of bowling, to which glitter bowling has brought more people to at least try the sport. Käyhkö is not terribly enthusiastic about glittering.
“It’s a bit of a nasty thing that bowling is the first thing that comes to mind for many people.”
24-year-old bowler, lives in Mikkeli.
The biggest achievement of the World Championships in silver at the 2021 World Cup in Dubai.
Tossed the complete 300-point series for the first time at the age of 16. Now in the official competitions, the 300-point series has accumulated 72 copies (by January 19).
Käyhkö has a starting speed of 29.5 kilometers per hour.
He has 9 to 12 balls in the competitions, of which he uses three or four balls.
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