Sweden’s Anette Norberg booked her place in the weekend’s Page Play-offs with a 5-4 win over Canada’s Amber Holland in Wednesday evening’s session of round-robin play at the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark.
Norberg won with a nerveless final draw, and afterwards, declared she was happier than she had been earlier in the week with her own form. She said, “My play is getting better, I’m not satisfied yet, but it’s getting better, and usually I get a little bit better when I go into the play-offs. I hope it will be the same this time”.
Earlier Canada had beaten Switzerland by 7-4 for a fifth win to keep her campaign alive, but skip Amber Holland now realises she has no more opportunities for mistakes. After the loss to Sweden – her fourth - she said, “You know that four losses is max – you don’t want to go beyond that”.
With Anna Sidorova skipping, Russia had two strong wins on Wednesday, beating defending champions Germany by 5-3 and then downing the Czech Republic by 12-3 in just seven ends. These performances keep them right on the coat-tails of leaders Sweden, on six wins.
After the second of these wins, Sidorova said, “we are getting better, we do what we can and we have good luck on our side too. I know that we can make the last four, and all the girls know we can too – that’s what we are trying to do”.
Meanwhile Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott had a day she will want to forget, losing twice. In the morning, she went down by 8-9 to Sweden before losing by 4-7 to Canada in the afternoon in a game that was decided when Ott’s last stone in the ninth rolled out, leaving Canada’s Amber Holland to score three.
After this game, Ott said, “we had two very close and good games but no win, so it’s getting difficult for us”.
China now shares second spot on the table, on six wins, with Russia and Denmark. They had two wins on Wednesday, an overwhelming 14-5 defeat of the USA, and a 6-4 win over Norway’s Linn Githmark. After the Norway game skip Bingyu Wang said, “when the game started we were not so comfortable, Norway’s strategy is to play the hit – always a hit. We just told each other to be patient”.
China’s appearance at this event, has caused massive viewing figures at home, and about that, Wang added, “we’re so happy because there are a lot of Chinese fans watching the games, but all the media interest makes us nervous and puts more pressure on us to win. We are always thinking about what to say after the game”.
She went on to promise, “if we make it to the 2014 Olympics there is going to be more media interest in us than this”.
Denmark had two wins on Wednesday, beating Korea by 7-4 and then ending Scotland’s campaign with a 12-5 win that saw them steal four points in the third end and three more in the sixth. At the end of a successful day, skip Lene Nielsen said, “this is our first world championships, and we had the goal of being in the top eight”.
After losing by 4-7 to their Danish hosts in the morning, Korea carved out their second win of the week, beating Scotland by 9-3. This was the second day when Scotland had lost two games, and afterwards, their twenty-year-old skip Anna Sloan said, “we’ve learned a lot. Obviously we’re young and we’ve still got so much to learn, but playing all these teams that are the best in the world gives us that experience and gives us a determination to come back again”.
USA’s Patti Lank had a mixed day. She returned to winning ways with an extra end 6-5 win over Norway’s Linn Githmark, but undid that good work when she was overwhelmed by China’s Bingyu Wang. After the China defeat, a bemused USA skip Lank said, “I've never played this badly at worlds before... I'm not sure what is going on".
Wednesday was also the day when Germany’s Andrea Schöpp’s title defence all but came to an end. She followed her 3-5 loss to Russia by beating the Czech Republic by 7-3, but with just four wins, only an unlikely set of results can keep her involved.
Standings after 14 Sessions:
Czech Republic 2-7
Session 12: Russia 5, Germany 3; Sweden 9, Switzerland 8; Denmark 7, Korea 4; Norway 5, USA 6.
Session 13: Switzerland 4, Canada 7; Russia 12, Czech Republic 3; China 14, USA 3; Korea 9, Scotland 3.
Session 14: Denmark 12, Scotland 5; China 6, Norway 4; Germany 7, Czech Republic 3; Sweden 5, Canada 4.
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