After the first three-draw day of the 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, being staged in Regina, Canada, the hosts and Scotland emerged at the top of the Sunday evening rankings, both undefeated after three games.
Canada only had one appearance on Sunday, and Jeff Stoughton and his men were pushed all the way by Germany’s Andy Kapp, before winning by 7-4. Afterwards, Stoughton said, “it was good to get a good game under our belt as our first two games were a little shaky. This game had a little more rhythm to it, but we still weren’t super sharp. But we made all the clutch draws that we needed to and I think the guys just felt better out there”.
Meanwhile Kapp said, “The team didn’t play that good. We had to make more shots to put more pressure on, but we were under pressure for the whole game, so I had to make some tough shots to keep us alive, but not enough to win this game”.
To join Canada at the top of the table, Scotland’s Tom Brewster followed up a 9-6 win over Korea’s Dong Keun Lee with a 10-6 victory over Switzerland’s Christof Schwaller. After the win over Korea, Brewster said, “two–zero is sweet. You’ve got to be happy with that. If you’d said that yesterday morning I would have been delighted” and when he came off the ice following his win over Switzerland, he added, “that’s fantastic. We made it difficult for ourselves, but we pulled it through in the end”.
Earlier, Switzerland had beaten USA by 6-4 in the morning session and, when they came back onto the ice in the evening, the USA team, skipped by Pete Fenson, suffered a further set-back, going down by 2-11 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin.
Fenson seemed bemused by his team’s loss of form. “We had a little trouble as a team with the ice early. It was a little different today than it was last night” he said after the loss to Switzerland, and after the defeat by Sweden he added, “We’re just not getting our rocks where we need to get them. We need to do a lot better”.
After beating USA, Swiss skip Schwaller said, “today we showed that we are in the tournament” and he was naturally disappointed to follow up that win by going down to Scotland.
Norway was another team that had a bad day, losing by 5-7 to the Czech Republic after an extra end in the morning, and then going down by 8-9 to Germany in the evening. After the extra end loss to the Czechs, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud said, “I thought we were done with extra ends yesterday, but unfortunately we just picked up where we left off yesterday. We had a rough start and then we picked it up, but it was too little, too late. We need to get these things fixed”.
This game marked the first-ever championship win by the Czech Republic over Norway, and a celebrating Czech skip Jiri Snitil said, “our game plan was to stay as close as possible and not to let them score a big end. They were struggling a bit with the ice I guess. We were just close enough to make them a little unsafe and nervous. This is our first win ever against Norway and against that team”.
To add to their historic achievement, the Czechs then went on to beat China by 8-5.
This was the first loss for China’s Yansong Ji. Earlier in the day, his team had followed up their opening win against Germany by beating Denmark 7-6. After that win, Ji was still thinking back to their opening win against Germany, saying, “this feeling is not as good as beating Germany last night. We’re proud to have come here to Regina to represent China. Last night was a good game to win because it was broadcast live on CCTV5. We won this game and the Chinese people will now get to know the sport more and be able to support us more”.
In their only appearance on Sunday, France suffered their first loss of the event, going down by 6-7 to Sweden in what was one of the most entertaining match-ups of the week so far. Commenting on this, French skip Thomas Dufour said, “we were disappointed to lose that. It was a tight game. We were looking for the win but the Swedish made some big shots and they had to fight a lot to win this game and it shows that our level is good”.
Standings after 5 sessions:
Czech Republic 2-1
Session 3: Czech Republic 7, Norway 5; Switzerland 6, USA 4.
Session 4: Korea 6, Scotland 9; Canada 7, Germany 4; China 7, Denmark 6; Sweden 7, France 6.
Session 5; Sweden 11, USA 2; Scotland 10, Switzerland 6; Norway 8, Germany 9; Czech Republic 8, China 5.
TV & Web: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-mens-curling-championship-2011-tv-web-coverage
Live Scores: http://www.curling.ca/championships/curlcast-1
Scores mirrored on: http://results.worldcurling.org/Championship.aspx?id=396
Event websites for news & photos: http://www.curling.ca/championships/worlds/