Friday 11 November 2016
Japan and China men’s teams will compete for gold medals at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2016 on Saturday (12 November) afternoon – 14.00 (Korea Standard Time) live on World Curling TV and national broadcasters.
On Friday (11 November) evening in the semi-finals Japan beat hosts Korea 6-5 in a very close and tense game, while China beat Chinese Taipei 11-5 in just eight ends.
Reaching the final means these two teams have now qualified for the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017, to be held in Edmonton, Canada, between 1-9 April, where valuable Olympic Qualification Points will be on offer.
With tears shed in the media mixed zone, following Japan’s semi-final you could see how much the opportunity to secure a place at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea meant to this team - Japan’s men have not competed at an Olympics since its inclusion in the Games in 1998.
The Japan v Korea game was close from start to finish, with the scores tied 3-3 at the fifth end break. In the eighth Japan skip Yusuke Morozumi played a decisive raised takeout that gave his team two points and a 5-4 lead going into the ninth end. In that end Korea forced a blank end giving themselves the hammer in the final regulation and tenth end. However, only managing a score of one point, the game moved into an extra end. Here, in an attempt to move two Japanese stones, one of which sat on the button, Korea skip Yoo Hyuk Kim played his final stone, which he hoped to force a steal. But, it didn’t quite hit its target giving Japan one point and the victory.
In the other semi-final an opening end of five points set China on their way to a convincing victory over Chinese Taipei, who were competing for the first time in the PACC play-offs. Scores of two points in the third end and three in the sixth end, also helped China to their 11-5 win.
On Saturday (12 November) the women’s and men’s finals will be broadcasted on WCTV and national broadcasters. Korea v China women will be at 09.00 and Japan v China men will be at 14.00
They said it:
Rui Liu; China, skip (after 11-5 win over Chinese Taipei): “The first end [was the defining moment of the game] actually! Our opponents made a big mistake in the first end so we tried not to lose that chance and we got big score [of five points]. Tomorrow, we will try our best.”
Yusuke Morozumi; skip, Japan (after 6-5 win over Korea): “I’m feeling super happy to go to the Worlds. We couldn’t qualify for the Olympics for 20 years and then we have a big chance to go to the Olympics and that is a big thing for Japan curling, especially the men.”
Results men’s semi-finals: Japan 6-5 Korea; China 11-5 Chinese Taipei
Standings after men’s semi-finals (W-L):
GF China 8-1
GF Japan 7-2
BF Korea 7-2
BF Chinese Taipei 6-3
New Zealand 4-4
Hong Kong 3-5
To follow the action from the PACC 2016, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #PACC2016 #Roadto2018 #curling