Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
March 15, 2014
After just two sessions of round-robin play at the Ford World Women's Curling Championship, which got underway on Saturday in Harbour Station, Saint John, Canada, Olympic silver medallists Sweden are the only team to record two wins so far, to stand alone at the top of the standings.
Sweden opened with a 10-5 win over the Czech Republic and then followed that up with a 13-4 victory over Korea, in just six ends.
In the game against the Czech Republic, it was the Czechs who took an early lead when their skip Anna Kubeskova threw a double takeout in the sixth end to score two, inching ahead of Sweden 4-3. However, in the seventh end, Sweden's fourth player Maria Prytz hit for four, to take the lead 7-4, as Sweden went on to win 10-5.
After this game, Swedish skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said, "that was a good game. We're always excited about how the ice will work, and we managed that well." Referring back to her Olympic medal success in Sochi, she added, "we had a few days off in Sochi before we went home and we had time to re-load and re-focus coming to the Worlds - it's one of the biggest things you can play."
Speaking about the way forward at this event she said, "we just need to keep on working, read the ice correctly and know how to play." And that is exactly what her team achieved, as they cruised to their 13-4 win over Korea.
Earlier, in their morning game, Korea had beaten Denmark by 11-8. In the second end of this game, Danish skip Madeleine Dupont drew her final stone into the house to score three points and take a 3-1 lead. In the sixth end, Korean fourth player Un Chi Gim tapped out a Danish stone to score four points to reduce Denmark's lead to one point at 7-6 before, as their fight-back continued, the Koreans eventually won by 11-8.
Despite this win, Korean skip Jisun Kim was not all happy, saying “our feeling wasn’t good in this game, we had difficulty reading the ice and with our weight judgement. The first, second and fifth ends were not good for us. But by the sixth end we fought back against these difficulties.”
In the opening session, hosts Canada faced Russia, a game that played its role in attracting a healthy crowd of almost 3,000 spectators.
This game was tight all the way. In the fifth end, Canadian skip Rachel Homan made the first break-through of the game, scoring two points with a hit to take a 3-2 lead. In the ninth end Russian skip Anna Sidorova hit with her last stone to score two points and level the score at 5-5. But this proved not to be enough as Canada won the game in the tenth, by 7-5.
This was Canada's only game of the day, and afterwards, Homan said, "there are not going to be any easy games here. We've played Russia before and it's always a big battle. They didn't miss too much out there. It was pretty tight the whole way through, even in the end. My team played really well and so did they. We just made one more shot than they did."
Russia recovered in the second session, as they faced Latvia, beating them by 10-2 in just six ends. In the fourth end of what was already a one-sided encounter, Russia's skip Anna Sidorova hit out a Latvian stone to score two points for a 7-1 lead on her way to their 10-2 victory.
Afterwards, it was clear that the Russians were keen to put their disappointing ninth-place at their home Olympic Games behind them, with skip Sidorova saying "in Sochi we finished not so well, not as we expected. Here, this is a chance to prove that we can be better, and I'm sure that we can. We have to make every key shot, at the right time and the right place."
For Latvia, this result was a set-back from their morning win over Scotland. At this Championship, both Scotland and Latvia are represented by two teams new at this level, with the Scottish newcomers defending the title won by a different team led by Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead last year.
This was a game in which the lead changed hands six times, as neither team could dominate, and eventually, in the tenth end, Latvian skip Evita Regza removed the last Scottish stone sitting in the house to run the Scots out of stones and win the game by 8-6.
In the second session, both Germany and Switzerland were playing their first games. In the eighth end, and already behind, Germany's skip Imogen Oona Lehmann played a draw for two points to reduce the Swiss lead to 6-4, but in the ninth her opposite number, Switzerland's Binia Feltscher also played a draw-shot, to score four points from the end and complete a 10-4 win.
After this win, Feltscher said, "the first win in a tournament is always good. We watched the games this afternoon at the arena, and on TV. I think the good start with two in the first and the steal in the second was important for us. That helped our confidence, and we were able to play a safe game after that."
Both USA and China also started their campaigns in the evening's second session. In this game, USA had built a strong lead by the eighth end but Chinese skip Siia Liu hit out a USA stone to score two points and reduce the USA lead to 9-5, but in the ninth end, USA skip Allison Pottinger scored three points with her final draw to win the game by 12-5.
Women session 1: Scotland 6, Latvia 8; Korea 11, Denmark 8; Russia 5, Canada 7; Czech Republic 5, Sweden 10.
Women session 2: Germany 4, Switzerland 10; Latvia 2, Russia 10; Sweden 13, Korea 4; USA 12, China 5.
Women's standings after 2 sessions:
1. Sweden 2-0
2. Canada 1-0
2. Switzerland 1-0
2. USA 1-0
5. Russia 1-1
5. Korea 1-1
5. Latvia 1-1
8. China 0-1
8. Czech Republic 0-1
8. Denmark 0-1
8. Germany 0-1
8. Scotland 0-1
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Saint John. WCF Broadcast Partners for the event include TV4 in Sweden, Russia 2 in Russia, CCTV in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil. TSN is carrying coverage in Canada (RDS in Quebec). www.worldcurling.org/wwcc-2014-tv-web-tv-programme-schedule
In addition, Curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship Events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV And embedded on the hompage of the WCF Website www.worldcurling.org
More information about the event can be found on the event website: www.curling.ca/2014worldwomen-en/
Results are here: www.curling.ca/scoreboard
Event Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Event Twitter Hashtags: #wwcc2014 #curling
The World Women’s Curling Championship 2015 will take place in Sapporo, Japan, from 14-22 March in the Tsukisamu Gymnasium.