China, Italy, Russia & Japan make Wheelchair Qualifying event Playoffs

The final day of round robin play at the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland, saw the teams from China, Italy, Russia and Japan making it through to the final stage playoffs on Friday.

On top of the standings with 7 wins and 1 loss each are China and Italy. They will meet in the 1v2 playoff game on Friday morning. The winner of this game wins the first of the two qualification spots for the World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2011 in Prague in the Czech Republic next February.

Russia, on a 6-2 record, will play against Japan (5 wins and 3 losses) in the 3v4 playoff game on Friday morning. The winner of this game will meet the loser of the 1v2 game in the afternoon for the chance to win the second World Championship berth.

It is the end of the competition for Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, home team Finland and Latvia.

“We feel a little bit sad because the game against Italy was our last chance,” said Swiss vice-skip Claudia Hüttenmoser after losing to Italy 2-7 in the final round. “They played better than us and that’s life and we finish fifth, in the middle of the group.”

Danish Skip Kenneth Ørbaek was also disappointed with their 7th place finish. He had hoped his team would manage to finish in the top four because their preparation for the event went very well. Denmark was the only team delivering their stones from the house all week which they said gave them more curl.

Home side Finland finished 8th. It was the first event that both Markku and Sari Karjalainen represented their country. On Thursday, there was a little joy however for the team as skip Vesa Hellman celebrated his 40th birthday and got a special round of applause and greeting from fellow-competitors.

Latvia go home without a win. It was their first participation at a World Curling Federation wheelchair curling event.

The French, while not officially competing in the event, played a series of exhibition games at their original competition times.

Rankings after round robin (Wins-Losses):
CHN 7-1
ITA 7-1
RUS 6-2
JPN 5-3
SUI 4-4
SVK 3-5
DEN 2-6
FIN 2-6
LAT 0-8

Friday 12 November

10:30 (local time)
CHINA v ITALY (1v2 playoff game winner qualifies for WWhCC 2011)

RUSSIA v JAPAN (3v4 playoff game winner qualifies for afternoon game, loser is out)

16:30 (local time)
Loser of morning 1v2 game versus Winner of morning 3v4 game (winner qualifies for the second WWhCC 2011 berth)

The schedule, updated team line-ups and results can be found at:

A LIVE Daily webcast is on: