Day 4 Review

Team Korea still have a chance of reaching play-offs Photo: KOSAD / Young Bok Kim

The last session of the round robin at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Chuncheon, South Korea will be crucial with five teams – China, Korea, Russia, Slovakia and USA - tied on 6 wins and 2 losses and all with a chance to make one of the four playoff spots.

The remaining five teams – Scotland, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Italy will be fighting to avoid relegation to the World Wheelchair Curling Championship qualification event in Finland next November.

The final round robin session on Thursday morning will see: Slovakia v Korea, Norway v China, Russia v Italy, Sweden v Scotland and USA v Canada. Tiebreakers will be played in the afternoon and evening, if required.

China, Korea and Russia were on winning form on Wednesday winning all their games in the morning and afternoon rounds. It was a day marked by steals with China stealing their way to an 8-3 win over Italy and then a 7-2 defeat of Canada. Korea stole 4 points to secure a 6-2 win against Norway and then stole a crucial 2 points in the seventh end of their game against Sweden to boost them to a 10-7 win in the eighth end, running their opponents out of stones.
Korean Skip Hak Sung Kim put the high score down to a change in the ice conditions, which he said he team had to get used to and they would practise hard ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Russia’s close 3-2 win over the USA in the morning left the team a bit nervous as they went into their game against Slovakia in the afternoon.

Russia Skip Andrey Smirnov said “when we stole five points without the hammer in the fifth and sixth ends we became calm, relaxed and it was ok from there on.” The Russians eventually ran the Slovaks out of stones in the eighth end for a 7-4 win.

Curling only started in Slovakia ten years ago, with wheelchair curling beginning in 2007. Radoslav Duris’ team won their way out of the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event in Finland last November. In the morning session they beat Scotland 5-4, ending the silver medallists from last year’s hopes of making the playoff stage at this year’s event.

Norway’s medal hopes are over too after they won bronze at the 2011 Championship. After losing their game against Korea, several missed shots by Skip Rune Lorentsen cost them the game against USA.

“We were down 3 after two,” explained USA Skip Patrick McDonald, “we actually cracked a smile between ends two and three and I said ‘let’s try to turn it around…” Norway’s mistakes helped the American’s to steal their way to a 7-3 win.

Canada has struggled to find winning form without their Skip Jim Armstrong, who returned home for personal reasons before the event started. Lead Sonja Gaudet skipped their morning game against Sweden, but missed shots handed Jalle Jungnell’s team an 8-1 win.
In the afternoon, Darryl Neighbour returned as skip for their game against China.

Italy suffered two defeats as well, first to China (8-3) then in their game against Scotland they were unable to get a point on the scoreboard losing 10-0.

Standings*
China 6-2
Korea 6-2
Russia 6-2
Slovakia 6-2
USA 6-2
Scotland 3-5
Canada 2-6
Norway 2-6
Sweden 2-6
Italy 1-7
*During the round robin teams with the same W-L record will be ranked alphabetically.

Video coverage of certain games is now available on a delayed basis on the event website. See more here: http://www.wwhcc2012.worldcurling.net/video

The event sees ten of the top wheelchair curling teams in the world competing in a round robin which runs from Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd February. Playoffs and 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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