Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships 2013 Reports

Text courtesy: Australian Curling Federation/Russ Hamsey

PAJCC 2013 Photo: Debbie Hamsey
Japanese women in action at PAJCC 2013 Photo: Debbie Hamsey
NZL junior men Photo: Debbie Hamsey
Fans in the stands Photo: Debbie Hamsey
AUS junior men Photo: Debbie Hamsey
KOR junior women Photo: Debbie Hamsey

16 January 2013
After six days of outstanding curling, the Pacific-Asia Curling Federation has its champions for 2013. The Gold Medal has gone to the Chinese Junior Men’s Team, Silver to Korea and Bronze to New Zealand. In the Junior Women’s competition, the Gold Medal recipients are Japan with Silver to China and Bronze to Korea.

In the Junior Men’s competition China faced Korea. In the second end, the Koreans looked ready to steal two points, when the Chinese skip “threaded the needle” and snuck his rock into the button to take the point. By the fifth end, China had built a small lead. They maintained that lead until the tenth end. Separated by a single point, the Koreans played to gain the two points required for the win. Their very last rock had them sitting with the required two points. The Chinese skip launched an exquisite shot to remove a rock, secure a point and a 7-4 win.

On the Junior Women’s side, the team from Japan squared off against the Chinese. Moving quickly and cautiously through the first five ends, Japan led 3-2. The sixth end was a little more interesting with four rocks around the button at one point. As the rocks flew down the ice, the situation around the button remained unchanged. Finally, a chance shot swept away a guard stone and China managed to sneak a rock onto the button taking the end and one point. The game remained fairly even until the eighth and ninth ends when they managed to build a lead of three points and secure a 7-4 win.

15 January 2013
On the final day of regular competition, the PAJCC saw more outstanding curling!  In particular, this day was important to settle the standings for the finals matches.

In the Junior Men’s competition, Korea and Japan faced each other in an attempt to break the standings tie between them.  The game was even through the first half and then the Koreans managed to pull away to the win.  The Chinese took on the Australians and dominated through the first half.  The Aussies managed a few points later in the game but could not prevail.

The Junior Women’s tournament continued with Australian versus New Zealand, the latest chapter in the ANZAC challenge. The Aussie gals continued their overall improvement, keeping pace with the Kiwis until the eighth end.  Then a massive four-point ninth end ensured the victory for New Zealand.  The Japanese and Chinese women squared off against each other and in a cautious match, kept low scores through each end but the Japanese managed to squeeze a couple more points in the seventh and eighth ends to take the win.

Later in the day, the Korean men took on the Australians in closely contested game until mid-way.  The Koreans scored three points in each of two ends effectively sealing Australia’s fate.  The New Zealand and Japanese Junior Men’s game was exciting with each team creating complex situations for the other.  In the face of mounting pressure, the two sides battled with the Kiwis slowly pulling ahead by the seventh end.  Korea could not catch up and lost the match 11-5.

In Junior Women’s competition, the New Zealand and Korean ladies faced each other in a match that saw the Koreans widen the gap through the game.  The Kiwis fought valiantly but could not close to take the win.  The Australian and Japanese teams engaged in the Aussies final game of the competition.  The Japanese won quickly and handily with the Aussies only able to win two ends.

RESULTS & more including a live WEBCAM:

14 January 2013
Today is the holiday in Japan known as, “Coming of Age Day” where the country celebrates the transition of its twenty year-olds from childhood to adulthood. What better day to describe the curling by the young people from five nations in the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships. We have seen some outstanding curling here in Kitami City that could easily stand well in more senior competition.

In the Junior Men’s competition, Japan was able to beat China in an excellent game. The real nail-biter was between New Zealand and Korea. This thrilling game required an extra end and a Korean win was the final result.

The Junior Women’s game between Australia and China started off well for Australia, holding the more experienced Chinese team to single points in the first two ends. However, the Chinese won handily and the Australians conceded in the ninth end.

Later in the day, the Chinese and Korean men squared off in a precise and carefully considered game. Some spectacular curling saw the Chinese win out in the end.

The ANZAC challenge continued between the Australians and New Zealanders. This close match required two measures in the first half alone. Through the second half, the slog continued. Tied at five going into the eighth end, the Kiwis slowly pulled away and took the game.

In Junior Women’s competition, the Chinese and Koreans played a cautious low-scoring match which required an extra end to decide, in Korea’s favour. New Zealand and Japan faced each other in a tough match – for New Zealand. They just could not get the best of Japan and called the game at the end of the seventh.

13 January 2013
The third day of the PAJCC in Kitami City, Japan provided the fans with a number of absolutely excellent games.  Chief Umpire, Eeva Rothlisberger commented that it was hard to decide which game to watch, the curling was so good.

In the Junior Men’s competition, China and Japan went head-to-head in a closely fought contest with the Chinese prevailing in the end.  The Korean and New Zealand men faced off in hard competition with the lead changing hands a few times.  The Kiwis managed the win giving the fans an excellent game to watch.

The Junior Women’s games between Japan and New Zealand and Korea and China were a little less close.  The Japanese and Koreans dominated their opponents.

Later in the day, the New Zealand Junior Men’s Team faced the Chinese and gave the fans a match to remember.  The Australians and Japanese junior men saw an even contest with the Aussies holding their own until the eighth end.  The Japanese gained the lead and won in the end.

In Junior Women’s competition, New Zealand and China faced each other and, in a thrilling match, the Chinese only won the game with the final rocks of the tenth end.  The Australians played the Koreans and although the Aussies continue to improve with each game, they simply could not match the skill of the Korean side.

At the end of the third day of competition, the Chinese Junior Men lead their pack with five wins and no losses.  The Chinese Junior Women lead their side of the championships with four wins and one loss.

12 January 2013
The second day of the PAJCC in Kitami City, Japan provided another day of outstanding curling and great entertainment.

In the Junior Men’s competition, Korea and China fought a hard battle. From the first end to the last rock, each team contested and exploited every opportunity possible. The lead changed hands several times in a thrilling contest that went into an extra end. The Chinese won it in the end by one point. New Zealand and Australia went head to head in that great ANZAC tradition of friendly rivalry with the Kiwis able to triumph over their cross-Tasman Sea opponents.

The Junior Women’s games between Korea and Japan and China and Australia saw some cautious, careful curling. The Koreans and Japanese remained scoreless through the first three ends in a rock-for-rock exchange. Tied at the tenth end, the Japanese women were able to score the winning point in an extra end. The Australian ladies showed vast improvement in their game against China, holding the mighty Chinese to only four points in the first four ends.

Later in the day, the Australian Junior Men’s Team faced the Koreans and fought a bitter contest. The Aussies kept pace with the more experienced Korean side but in the end just could not pass their opponents. The Japanese and New Zealand junior men squared off and the lead see-sawed back and forth during their game. The tenth end saw a tied game and an extra end followed. This nail-biter ended with the two last rocks requiring measurement to determine the point. The Kiwis won by a hair.

In Junior Women’s competition, China and Japan paired off. The Chinese women played aggressively throughout and prevailed in the end. New Zealand and Australia continued the ANZAC tradition with their match. The Kiwis’ extensive pre-competition preparations showed from the start.

11 January 2013
On Friday, the curlers took to the ice in earnest, starting the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships in Kitami City in Japan. A total of eight games were played, with the junior athletes displaying some outstanding curling skills.

In the Junior Men’s competition China and New Zealand fought hard to the tenth end with China prevailing. In the afternoon, Japan and Korea went rock for rock in a very precise contest. In the tenth end it came down to the last Japanese rock which only just missed. Australia went down to China but simply would not give up until the ninth end.

The Junior Women’s match between Korea and New Zealand started well for the Kiwi women but the Koreans managed a massive five points in the fifth end and the Kiwis could not make back the ground. Australia had a tough day, losing both games but did improve and a very impressive shot in the sixth end of the game against Korea took a point when facing a possible loss of three points in the end.