Day 2 Review

Team USA remain unbeaten after Day 2 Photo: KOSAD / Young Bok Kim

Team USA remains unbeaten after the second day of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2012, in Chuncheon, South Korea.

The Americans, who are a relatively new team, started out by beating Italy 8-3 in the morning.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” said USA Skip Patrick McDonald after putting an end to the Slovaks winning run with an 8-2 score in the afternoon. “If we keep playing the way we’re playing – the front end is really strong right now, I feel that anything can happen and I’m hoping for the best. I’m sure we will do fine for the rest of the week and who knows, on the last day hopefully we’re still playing!”

China, Russia and Slovakia are all tied on 3 wins and 1 loss each. China picked up a further two wins on Monday beating Asian rivals Korea 5-3 and then Sweden 5-2.

The game against Korea went all the way to an extra end. Wang made a spectacular angle-raise to the four foot rings to lie two with his last shot and Korea’s Hak Sung Kim was unable to better it. Afterwards Wang explained “for my last stone, I couldn’t think about the result we needed, I just had to think about that one stone and make the shot and do it well.”

Russia lost their game against Scotland in the morning 4-1. Scottish Skip Aileen Neilson said the game was very defensive “We knew the Russian’s like to have stones out at the front and tap them in so we just made sure that we didn’t let them do that. We went in with a game plan and stuck to it and it paid off in the end.”

It looked like Russia were going to lose their game against Norway in the afternoon with Rune Lorentsen’s side 7-0 up at the fourth end break. But Andrey Smirnov mounted a surprising comeback after a change of line up switching their lead for their alternate.

“First of all, the substitution that the coaches made after the fourth end played a very important role” explained Smirnov. “We knew that they we could still win the game even though our opponents were ahead, so we gathered and showed all we could to win, but it was a surprise for us also.”

There were other changes to line ups that impacted on results on Monday. After losing 5-4 to Slovakia, Canada opted to let lead Sonja Gaudet skip their afternoon game against Scotland.

Daryl Neighbour who had been skipping sat out the draw. It was a move that paid off, as the Canadians secured a comfortable 8-2 win.

“We just wanted to change things up a bit” explained Gaudet who’s never skipped at this level of international competition before. “I was certainly nervous out there. It was an opportunity I was looking at doing a few years down the road, but it came up now, and that’s ok.”

The Italians switched their team round in the morning putting Egidio Marchese to throw last stones and skip Andrea Tabanelli in as third but on losing to the USA, they were back to their original line up for the afternoon’s game against hosts Korea.

The Italians played catch up throughout the game but got a steal of two points in the 7th end to put them ahead 6-5 when Korea’s Hak Sung Kim missed an attempted raise. In the eighth end Kim had a simple take out to win 7-6.

Sweden won their first game of the Championship 6-3 against Norway in the morning. Swedish Skip Jalle Jungnell, winner of two Paralympic bronze medals and a world championship silver (2009) has set his sights on the podium. “We’re aiming for a medal here and one that we’ve not had before, but we know it will be difficult. If we didn’t think we had a chance, then we wouldn’t have put in all of the effort.”

Standings:
USA 4-0
China 3-1
Russia 3-1
Slovakia 3-1
Canada 2-2
Korea 2-2
Scotland 2-2
Sweden 1-3
Italy 0-4
Norway 0-4

The ten teams are competing in a round robin which runs from Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd February. Semifinals take place on Friday 24th with the Bronze and Gold medal games scheduled for 10:00 and 14:00 local time (KST – Korean Standard Time) on Saturday 25th.

Wheelchair curling is similar in many ways to its able-bodied parent game, except that no sweeping takes place, and each game consists of eight instead of ten ends.

Further qualification points for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia will be awarded at the end of this year’s world championship. For more information visit: http://www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics

Results, news and photos from the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2012 can be seen here on the event website: http://www.wwhcc2012.worldcurling.net

World Curling Federation Wheelchair Curling Events Facebook: Go hit ‘like’ to keep updated:
http://www.facebook.com/WorldWheelchairCurlingChampionships

In 2013, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship will take place in Sochi, Russia from 16-23 February.

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