Finland record first Paralympic win while China move to the top of the rankings

  • Finland record first win © WCF / Céline Stucki

It went all the way to the final stone, but Finland put their first win on the board with an 8-5 victory over United States in Monday (12 March) afternoon's seventh session of round-robin play at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

United States opened the scoring with a single point in the first end followed by a steal of one more point in the second end.

Finland responded immediately with a score of four points in the third end, when Finnish skip, Sari Karjalainen, with her final stone played a difficult takeout to remove the lone United States counter from the house, while keeping her own stone in scoring position.

United States then scored two points in the fourth end to go into the break level at 4-4. The teams traded single points for the next three ends, then in the eighth end, United States while sitting shot stone and with last stone advantage, were unable to get a second stone into the house. With her final stone, Finnish skip Karjalainen hit the United States stone and rolled her shooter behind a corner guard.

United States skip, Kirk Black with the last stone attempted to draw to the four-foot to score the single point that would take the game to an extra-end, but instead wrecked on a guard, giving Finland a two-point steal and the 8-5 win.

China continued their impressive form and moved to the top of the table undefeated after an 8-2 win over Switzerland. With the teams level at 2-2 at the break, China scored one point in the fifth end, then stole three points in the sixth end, and a further two points in the seventh end before Switzerland conceded.

Great Britain secured their third win of the competition with a 6-1 victory over Sweden where they stole all of their points. Great Britain opened the scoring with a two-point steal in the first end, then followed that with single point steals in the next four ends. Sweden blanked the sixth end before getting on the scoreboard with a single point in the seventh end before conceding the game.

In the session's final game, Germany beat Slovakia 7-6. Germany lead 7-5 going into the eighth end, and with Slovakia sitting shot stone, Slovakian fourth player, Dusan Pitonak, had the chance to draw for the two points to take the game to an extra-end. However, Pitonak was a touch short, only scoring one point and giving Germany the win.

They said it

Markku Karjalainen; vice-skip, Finland (after 8-5 win over USA): "If you win seldom, I think you celebrate it a bit more. We were cheering up to the Finnish audience thanking them for the support. I think we are just getting the shape, and maybe the tension around the Paralympics is getting into some sort of routine that 'okay, this is nothing else than an ordinary curling game'. I think our games are improving as we go forward. There are so many games left that everything is open"

Christiane Putzich, skip, Germany (after 7-6 win over Slovakia): "Now I'm very happy. The team was together, so we could make it. In the seventh end my last stone was a lucky one. I tried to play the tap but it curled too much and okay, it was a lucky one. Sometimes the luck is on our side, sometimes on the other side, but that's sport"

Session seven results: Germany 7-6 Slovakia; China 8-2 Switzerland; Finland 8-5 United States; Sweden 1-6 Great Britain.

Standings after session seven (win-loss):

China 5-0
Korea 4-0
Canada 3-1
Great Britain 3-1
Germany 3-1
Switzerland 2-2
Slovakia 2-3
Norway 1-3
Neutral Paralympic Athletes 1-3
United States 1-3
Finland 1-4
Sweden 0-5

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