March 18, 2012
After four sessions of round-robin play at the Ford World Women’s Championship, three teams share the top spot on two wins and no losses – Canada, Germany and Switzerland.
To reach this point, the new-look German team skipped by Melanie Robillard beat Scotland’s Eve Muirhead by 7-6 after an extra end in their second game on Sunday morning. The Scots started this game by blanking the first two ends but their tactic back-fired when they gave up a steal of one in the third when Muirhead failed to remove a German counter. Germany took another single steal in the fourth when Muirhead’s last stone wrecked on a guard. Although the Scots fought back, they could never get ahead and eventually Robillard used the last stone in the extra end to draw for one and her win.
Afterwards, Robillard said, “we had pretty good control of the game and it was pretty steady.” Although she skips the team, Robillard leaves Imogen Oona Lehmann to throw fourth stones, and about this and the last draw she said, “I was confident in the last draw, she is pretty calm and she made it. Imogen is a calm person and I’m on the hyper side, so she calms me down and it works really well.”
Canada beat China in their second game on Sunday afternoon, and controlled the score board all the way, moving ahead with a score of two points in the fourth end for 3-1, and consolidating that position with another two in the sixth, for 5-2. Eventually, skip Heather Nedohin had a hit for one to win the game in the tenth by 7-5.
Afterwards, Nedohin said, “I thought that there were missed opportunities by both teams in the first half, but I got the scoreboard under control and went from that. We’re playing quite well but as athletes we’re always looking for improvement, a percentage here, a percentage there, but overall I’m quite pleased with the way the team is playing.”
Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott chalked up her second win when she handed USA their second loss on Sunday afternoon, with a final score of 11- 7. Every time Switzerland had last stone advantage in the first half, they scored two and went into the half-time break with a 6-3 lead. Although USA’s Allison Pottinger kept attacking in the second half, the Swiss never lost control and finished off the game with a flourish, scoring three in the tenth end.
After her win, Ott said, “we had a good start, we kept control and it was a close game, but a good game. We can still improve a little bit but we are happy with 2-0. The USA really played well, they just had a bad start which gave us the opportunity to take the lead and we held onto it.”
In the morning session Denmark’s Lene Nielsen led her team to their first win, beating Russia by 7-5. This was another tight game, with the Danes nosing in front with two points in the second and a single steal in the fifth end for 4-2. In the second half, while Russia could only score one in the sixth, Denmark produced another two in the seventh, and despite Russia scoring singles in each of the eighth and ninth ends to narrow to 5-6 down, Nielsen scored one in the tenth for her win.
Afterwards she said, “that win was very important. Yesterday was a really bad game [against Germany] and it was so important to us to try to play better today, and I think the girls did a good job today. There is pressure on us from home, but we’re still new on the world stage and we’re still learning. It’s a great experience being here”. Meanwhile this was Russia’s second loss of the event so far.
Sweden and the Czech Republic were each playing their third game of the championship when they met on Sunday afternoon, and Sweden ran out 10-5 victors to hand the Czech team their first loss so far. The Swedes with skip Margaretha Sigfridsson playing lead and Maria Prytz delivering fourth stones, already had a comfortable 5-3 lead when they put the result beyond doubt by scoring a three in the seventh end, making the score 8-3. The teams swapped twos in the eighth and ninth ends before Sweden ran the Czechs out of stones in the tenth end.
These teams now share the same won two, lost one record, and afterwards, Sigfridsson said, “we had a tough loss [against Korea] yesterday so it was important to win today’s game. I think yesterday, in the last five ends, we were not really on the edge, maybe a little bit low on energy and today we worked better on that”.
Korea joined the ‘won two, lost one’ group when they beat Italy by 6-5 on Sunday afternoon. The lead changed hands five times in this game, including when Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim drew for a score of three in the fifth end, for a 4-2 lead. Italy came out strong in the second half, scoring one in the sixth and stealing singles in both the seventh and eighth ends to re-take the lead at 5-4, but Korea levelled in the ninth and then stole the single needed for their win when Italy’s Diana Gaspari could not remove their counter in the tenth.
After her second win, Korea Skip, Ji-Sun Kim, said, in English, “today’s game was very difficult. In the sixth, seventh and eighth end we didn’t play well so we really had to concentrate. But after the tenth I’m really, really happy to get the win. We’ve now won two in a row so we’re beginning to feel better and better about ourselves and hopefully our confidence will help us tomorrow.”
This result leaves Italy alone on three losses and no wins yet, at the foot of the table. USA, Russia and China are yet to win, but they have played only two games so far.
Session 3: Russia 5, Denmark 7; Scotland 6, Germany 7.
Session 4: USA 7, Switzerland 11; Sweden 10, Czech Republic 5; Italy 5, Korea 6; Canada 7, China 5.
Team standings after 4 Draws
Czech Republic 2-1