Friday 13 November 2015
Korea and Japan won their Friday (13 November) evening semi-finals at the Pacific Asia Curling Championships in the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, Almaty, Kazakhstan, to not only reach Saturday's Gold Medal final, but also grab the two available qualification places for the World Men's Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland next (2-10) April.
To face Japan, New Zealand had come through a tie-breaker against Australia earlier on Friday, but although they pushed all the way, the New Zealand team could not overcome Japan's score of three points in the third end.
New Zealand did manage to level the score at 6-6 after eight ends, but eventually Japan knocked out a New Zealand stone in the tenth to score one point from the end and claim a 7-6 win.
The other semi-final between China and Korea also effectively swung on one end, when Korea took four points from the fifth end for a 5-3 lead. Again, China managed to fight back to level the score at 6-6 after nine ends, but, when China's last stone of the tenth end was wide, Korea scored two more points for an 8-6 win without having to play their last stone.
Korea and Japan will play for Gold medals on Saturday while New Zealand and China will face each other in the Bronze Medal game.
In the same Friday evening session, Kazakhstan and New Zealand's women played each other in a tie-breaker to determine the last place in Saturday morning's (09.00, local time) women's semi-final line-up. Kazakhstan won by 10-6 to reach the semi-final stage of this Championship for the first time in their history. They now face Japan, while Korea are against China.
They Said It:
Soo Hyuk Kim; skip, Korea (after 8-6 semi-final win over China):
"I feel really good and really happy. I've tried for three years to do this. Today was great and I'm proud of my team on their performance. Now we need to have more practice in good competitions before the World Championship. Tomorrow we face Japan but we just need to focus, always focus."
Kosuke Morozumi; lead, Japan (after 7-6 semi-final win over New Zealand):
"That was the best win of the season for us. We kept on trying to score twos and threes. Getting to the Worlds is really important for us. We're aiming to get to the Olympics and this is the first year for Olympic points, so it is really important for us. Whoever we play in tomorrow's final doesn't matter. We just need to make sure we throw our weight and make our shots."
Olga Ten; skip, Kazakhstan (after 10-6 tie-break win over New Zealand):
"I'm happy, so happy! The team played well today, we had some good shots but some loose shots too, so we just tried to concentrate. We will try tomorrow just the same as today, and we will do what we can."