Korea men and Japan women win Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015

  • Photo: WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Korea's men’s team and Japan's women have now been crowned as Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015 winners after Saturday's (14 November) finals in the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

For all results, standings, news and photographs from the PACC 2015, visit: http://www.worldcurling.org/pacc2015

The Korean men's team – skip Soo Hyuk Kim, third Tae Hwan Kim, second Jong Duk Park, lead player Yoon Ho Nam, supported by alternate Min Hyeon Yoo and coach Se Young Yang – dominated the first-half of the game and scored a decisive four points with a precision multiple take-out in the fifth end for an 8-1 lead at the half-time break.

Japan fought back in the second half, but a delicate draw onto the button by Soo Hyuk Kim gave Korea one point from the ninth end for an 11-7 lead. After this, Japan ran out of stones in the tenth to give Korea their win, and the Gold Medals.

Japan have the consolation of Silver Medals and, like Korea, qualification for the 2016 World Championship, being held in Basel, Switzerland in (2-10) April.

The Women's Final was also a tight affair. To reach it, Japan had a 10-2 win over hosts Kazakhstan, while Korea won a tight game against China by 7-6, thanks to single-point steals in the eighth and ninth ends.

In the final, Japan – skip Satsuki Fujisawa, third Chinami Yoshida, second player Yumi Suzuki, and lead Yurika Yoshida, supported by alternate Kotomi Ishizaki and coach Ryoji Onodera – took the early lead, but a score of three points in the fourth end by Korea brought them level at 4-4.

A single point steal in the ninth end gave Japan an 8-6 lead and when Korea could only score one point in the tenth, Japan claimed their first women's title, and Gold Medals, since 2005. Both finalist teams have now qualified their countries for the Ford Women's Curling Championship in Swift Current, Canada next (19-27) March.

Bronze Medals were also decided on Saturday. China's men's team beat New Zealand by 5-4 while, in the women's Bronze game, China had a one-sided 16-0 victory over Kazakhstan, who had already made history by qualifying for the knock-out stage of the Championship for the first time.

China was defending both men's and women's titles, and their third places gives them the consolation of now being eligible to play in the 2017 Olympic Qualification Event, when the final two places in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games line-up will be decided.

They Said It:

MEN

Soo Hyuk Kim; skip, Korea (after 11-7 win in final over Japan):

"I'm really happy that we're champions. I don't think that was our best game – I think the semi-final was better, but that was good enough to win, thankfully. I know we have a ticket to the World Championship now, but we've been concentrating on this competition. Our overall goal is to win at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, so we are preparing hard for that."

WOMEN

Satsuki Fujisawa: skip, Japan (after 8-7 final win over Korea):

"This is my first time to win this title, so this is a very big win for me, and for Japanese women's curling. They got a three at the fourth end and we were worried then, but we stayed strong as a team. At the end we were almost out of time, so we were almost more nervous about that than about the game."

For all results, standings, news and photographs from the PACC 2015, visit: http://www.worldcurling.org/pacc2015