Canada and Korea win to secure Paralympic semi-final spots

  • Canada qualify for the semi-finals © WCF / Céline Stucki

Canada and hosts Korea booked their places in the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 semi-finals with their eighth wins of the competition - Canada 6-2 over Germany and Korea 5-4 over Great Britain - in Thursday (15 March) morning’s session at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Canada joined China in the play-offs, after beating Germany 6-2 to claim the second semi-final spot. Germany opened the scoring with a single point steal in the first end before Canada blanked the second end. Then, in the third end, Canada scored three points when skip Mark Ideson had an open draw into the house with his final stone. Canada then stole a single point in the fourth end for a 4-1 lead at the break.

The teams traded single points over the next two ends, before Canada stole one point in the seventh end, then ran Germany out of stones in the eighth end for the 6-2 win and their place in the semi-finals.

Korea secured the third semi-final place when they defeated Great Britain 5-4. With Great Britain leading 4-2 after five ends, Korea scored a single point in the sixth end to narrow the deficit. Korea then went on to steal a single point in the seventh end to level the scores at 4-4.

In the eighth end Korean third, Seung Won Jung, drew his second stone to the four-foot, behind a number of guards and into scoring position. Great Britain were unable to remove the stone, giving Korea a steal of one point, the 5-4 win and a place in the semi-finals.

Norway put themselves in prime position to secure the last remaining semi-final place when they defeated United States 5-4.

Norway took a 3-2 lead into the break and in the second half, with the scores level at 4-4 after six ends, Norway blanked the seventh end to retain last stone advantage. Then, in the eighth end, with his final stone, Norway skip Rune Lorentsen was heavy with his draw, leaving the result to an umpire’s measure. The measure revealed that Norway were sitting shot stone, giving them the one point for the 5-4 win.

Norway play their last round-robin game in the afternoon session, with a win guaranteeing them the last remaining semi-final place.

In the session’s final game Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) defeated Switzerland 6-4. The teams went into the fourth end break level on 3-3. In the second half NPA scored a single point in the fifth end before stealing a vital single point in the sixth end. Switzerland responded with one point in the seventh end, but NPA then used their last stone advantage in the eighth end to score one point for the 6-4 win.

They said it

Mark Ideson; skip, Canada (after 6-2 win over Germany): "It feels great, it's been a really long week. Everyone's tired, we had a quick turnaround last night, only few hours of sleep, so I'm really proud of the way everyone played today. It was a good game. There's one more game in the round-robin, and we'll just stick to our game plan, make sure we're sharp leading into the play-offs and we don't wanna get ahead of ourselves.

“That was my favourite kind of game. We came out strong the last couple of games actually. We had a good start and we've been talking about that a lot and tried to figure out ways we can best do that and that seems to be working."

Soon Seok Seo, skip, Korea (after 5-4 win over Great Britain): "It was a very tough game, and actually we are really tired because yesterday's game finished late, so we couldn't get a lot of rest and we couldn't sleep a lot. That's why a lot of our shots didn't come out as well as we expected. But on his last shot our third did really well, made a really important shot and this is what led to our victory today.

“Qualifying for the semi-final feels amazing. I'm very happy right now. I was disappointed after Sochi, but now I'm really happy. Since we qualified for the semi-final, our first goal is accomplished. Our next goal is to be qualified for the final and for this our team is gonna work hard."

Session 15 results: Canada 6-2 Germany; Switzerland 4-6 Neutral Paralympic Athletes; United States 4-5 Norway; Great Britain 4-5 Korea.

Standings after session 15 (win-loss):

Q China 8-1
QCanada 8-2
QKorea 8-2
Norway 6-4
Great Britain 5-5
Neutral Paralympic Athletes 5-5
Switzerland 5-5
Germany 4-6
Slovakia 3-6
Finland 2-7
Sweden 2-7
United States 2-8

Q = Qualified for the semi-finals

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