Norway and Switzerland win to keep Paralympic play-off hopes alive

  • Team Norway Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

Norway kept their hopes of securing a play-off place alive by defeating hosts Korea, 9-2, in front of an enthusiastic full home support in the sold out Gangneung Curling Centre in Wednesday (14 March) afternoon’s round-robin session.

Norway lead 4-2 at the fourth end break after scoring two points in the first and fourth ends. Then they went on to steal a single point in the fifth end, followed by a steal of four points in the sixth end. Korea could only score a single point in the seventh end after which they conceded with the score, 9-3 to Norway.

Canada defeated Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) 5-4, in the only game of the session to go the full eight ends.

The scores were tied at 2-2 after five ends, when Canada made the first breakthrough with a steal of one point in the sixth end. NPA responded with a score of two points in the seventh end. Then in the eighth end, after an umpire’s measure, Canada scored the two points they needed for the 5-4 win, and moved into joint second place alongside hosts, Korea.

United States won their second game of the competition when they defeated Great Britain 9-3 after seven ends. After the teams traded single points for the first two ends, United States took the lead with a score of three points in the third end, after fourth player, Steve Emt, drew into the house already sitting two shot stones. United States followed this with a steal of two points in the fourth end for a 6-1 lead at the break.

A further United States score of three points in the sixth end was enough for them to secure the 9-3 win, with Great Britain conceding after the seventh end.

In the session’s final game Switzerland picked up their second win of the day when they beat Germany 9-4 after six ends of play. Switzerland lead 7-1 at the fourth end break and after two further points in the sixth end, Germany conceded. This win moves Switzerland into joint fourth place with five wins and four losses.

They said it

Rune Lorentsen, skip, Norway (after 9-2 win over Korea): "It's good to be back! Amazing game! I don't know our stats for this game but it felt very good. Everything was great. We switched the skip and vice-skip positions for four games now, because I didn't get into the real mood and I played much better as a third player, and now we switched back. I got my confidence back. The coach knows us so well and he asked me 'are you ready?' and I said 'yes'."

Kirk Black, skip, USA (after 9-3 win over Great Britain): "I hate that my team is in this position, I wish the world could see that we're not a 2-7 team. We're one of the best teams here, the rocks just haven't gone our way this tournament, but we're still a good team and I'm very proud of everybody on our team. We just needed to get rolling and get rolling at the right time, and it might have slipped out of our grasp this time, there's always next time, so we're excited.

“We thought we just try something a little bit different [switching third and fourth players], take a little bit the pressure off me. Being at my first Paralympic Games and skipping the team and throwing last rocks, it's a lot. Steve pushes me every day to be better. He is a phenomenal person and a phenomenal player and he's a great person to put there to take some of the stress off me and let just call the game and it worked out really well for us."

Session 13 results: Great Britain 3-9 United States; Korea 2-9 Norway; Germany 4-9 Switzerland; Canada 5-4 Neutral Paralympic Athletes.

Standings after session 13 (win-loss):

China 7-1
Canada 6-2
Korea 6-2
Great Britain 5-4
Switzerland 5-4
Norway 4-4
Neutral Paralympic Athletes 4-4
Germany 4-5
Slovakia 3-5
Finland 2-6
Sweden 2-6
United States 2-7

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