Reigning world champions Norway pick up first Paralympic win

  • Norway's Jostein Stordahl © WCF / Céline Stucki

The opening session of day three at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 saw reigning world champions, Norway pick up their first win, with a 6-2 victory of the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) in the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Norway made a change to their line-up that saw regular vice-skip, Jostein Stordahl, take over the skipping duties and fourth stones, while Rune Lorentson moved to third stones and the vice-skip role.

Norway opened the scoring with a single point in the first end and followed that up with a single point steal in the second end. The teams traded single points over the next two ends giving Norway a 3-1 lead at the break.

Norway stole another single point in the fifth end, then after applying pressure and filling the house up with stones, Norway sat two counters in the sixth end when NPA skip Konstantin Kurokhtin was set to throw his last stone. With that stone Kurokhtin was heavy with a draw, giving up a steal of two points. NPA scored a single point in the seventh end before being run out of stones in the eighth end giving Norway the 6-2 win.

Korea and Canada both went into their game this morning undefeated, but Korea were the team that remained so after a close 7-5 win. Korea opened the scoring in the first end with three points when fourth player Jaegoan Cha was left with a draw to the house, already sitting two shot stones.

Canada blanked the second end before being forced to draw for the single point in the third end. Korea responded with one point in the fourth end to take a 4-1 lead at the break.

In the fifth end, Canada scored two points to narrow the deficit, but in the sixth end Korea extended their lead with a score of three points. Canada scored two points in the seventh end to try to get back into the game but were run out of stones in the eighth end, giving Korea the 7-5 win and a perfect 4-0 record.

China remained the only other unbeaten team in the competition by defeating Finland 6-4. China took a 5-1 lead into the break and despite a Finnish fightback were able to hold onto that lead for the 6-4 win.

In the session's final game Slovakia defeated Sweden 8-3. Slovakia opened the scoring with three points in the first end on their way to a 6-1 lead at the break. A score of one point in the sixth end and a further single point steal in the seventh end was enough for their win.

They said it

Jostein Stordahl; skip, Norway (after 6-2 win over NPA): "We did a little rotation on the team line-up, so I went from vice-skip to skip and Rune from skip to vice-skip. So maybe that was something to get the good play going in the team. We have a new spirit today and we played very well. The ice was really aggressive today, so I think we managed to curl better than the other team. It curled so much that they went into the guards and we got through. So we had to read the ice very well."

Soon Seok Seo, skip, Korea (after 7-5 win over Canada): "The key point of the win was our teamwork and that the crowd cheered us on, so we could work better. In the first end we thought that if we have the chance to take three points, it would be a much better start to the game. I don't want to define this game as a dress-rehearsal for the final, because still seven games are left."

Session six results: Korea 7-5 Canada; Sweden 3-8 Slovakia; Norway 6-2 Neutral Paralympic Athletes; Finland 4-6 China.

Standings after session six (win-loss):

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

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