Korea win again to join China at the top of the Paralympic rankings

  • Korea move to the top of the rankings © WCF / Céline Stucki

Hosts Korea moved into joint first place in the rankings in front of an enthusiastic home support, by defeating Finland 11-3 in Tuesday (13 March) morning's ninth session of round-robin play in the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Korea started the game strongly with a score of four points in the first end after a precise takeout by fourth player, Jae Goan Cha, with his final stone.

Korea began the second half in the same manner as the first, with a score of four points in the fifth end. This time, with his first stone, Cha played a double-takeout to remove the two Finnish shot stones and to sit with four Korean counters. After Finland's skip, Sari Karjalainen was only able to remove one Korean stone, Cha played another precise hit-and-stay to score the four points and give Korea an 8-2 lead.

Korea scored a further three points in the seventh end, after which Finland conceded with the score 11-3. This win moves Korea onto a 4-1 record, joint at the top of the table with China.

Canada responded to their previous two losses with an 8-5 over previously unbeaten China. China started the stronger of the sides, taking a 5-1 lead into the fourth-end break, but the second half was all Canada.

In the fifth end, Canada's skip, Mark Ideson, drew into the eight-foot ring for a score of two points to narrow the deficit, then in the sixth end with Canada sitting four shot stones, China skip, Haitao Wang wrecked on a high guard with his takeout attempt, giving Canada a steal of four points and the 7-5 lead. Canada went on to steal a single point in the seventh end before running China out of stones in the eighth end.

Sweden recorded their first win of the competition with a tight 5-4 victory over Norway. In the second end, with the last stone and a chance to score four points, Swedish skip Viljo Pettersson Dahl, played a takeout on the lone Norwegian stone in the house, but was unable to keep his shooter from rolling out, scoring three points.

The teams then traded single points for the next five ends, and with his last stone, Norway skip Jostein Stordahl was light with his draw, giving Sweden the 5-4 win without having to play their final stone.

In the session's final game Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) defeated Slovakia 7-5. After leading 4-2 at the fourth end break, NPA stole three points in the fifth end, before eventually running Slovakia out of stones for their third win of the competition.

They said it

Soon Seok Seo, skip, Korea (after 11-3 win over Finland): "Last night we had our first loss against Germany, but we tried to think about it in a positive way, look at it as a medicine, and think that it was the start. Our coach told us that we need to push Finland in the first four ends, and that there will be a lot of possibilities to score multiple points. So we tried to focus on getting these scores in the beginning. Our coach also said that the Finnish can become stronger from the sixth end, so we would need to push stronger."

Viljo Pettersson Dahl, skip, Sweden (after 5-4 win over Norway): "I feel amazing actually! A lot of pressure is now taken off our shoulder, so it is great. We have really struggled mentally, it has been a tough challenge. Our coach went home because of an illness, so it was a struggle. Now we are here, now we are on the winning train I hope. It's always fun to play our neighbour country and we are used to play well against them, so it was a really good game. I think this game we played more like we used to do. The other games, I don't know why, we didn't play that well. This is our first Paralympics, maybe we felt a lot of pressure. It's the first time, I never played world championship or Paralympics, so for me this is really big and I think we felt that."

Session nine results: Finland 3-11 Korea; Norway 4-5 Sweden; Neutral Paralympic Athlete 7-5 Slovakia; China 5-8 Canada.

Standings after session nine (win-loss):

China 5-1
Korea 5-1
Great Britain 4-1
Germany 4-1
Canada 4-2
Neutral Paralympic Athletes 3-3
Switzerland 2-3
Norway 2-4
Slovakia 2-4
United States 1-4
Finland 1-5
Sweden 1-5

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