China and Slovakia open their Paralympic campaigns with wins

  • Team China win their opening game © WCF / Céline Stucki

Four teams opened their Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 campaigns in the second session of round-robin play, with China and Slovakia emerging victorious, while Canada and Korea picked up their second wins of the day.

China defeated Sweden 9-4 in the first game for both at the competition. China opened the scoring with a single point in the first end and followed that up instantly with a steal of three points in the second end.

In the sixth end, China skip, Haitao Wang with his first stone, hit a precise takeout through a narrow port to lie three shot stones, then when Swedish skip, Viljo Petersson Dahl was heavy with his draw, Wang promoted a Chinese stone at the edge of the house to score four points and take a 9-2 lead, on their way to a 9-4 victory.

Slovakia and Finland were also competing in their first game of the competition, with Slovakia coming out on top 7-6. In a back and forward game, Slovakia took a 3-2 lead into the fourth end break. Finland scored a single point in the fifth end to level the scores before Slovakia hit back with a score of three points in the sixth end.

Slovakia stole a vital single point in the seventh end when Finnish fourth player, Markku Karjalainen hit out one Slovak counting stone but was unable to keep his shooter in the house. Finland then scored three points in the eighth end, just falling short of the four they needed to level the game, giving Slovakia the 7-6 win.

Canada defeated Norway 10-1 after six ends to pick up their second win of the day. Norway scored a single point in the first end, and that was the only point they would record in the game. Canada scored two points in the second end to take the lead, before stealing four points over the next three ends.

Canada then stole four more points in the sixth end when Norwegian skip Rune Lorentson's attempted raise-takeout was unable to remove any Canadian stones from the house. After this Norway conceded giving Canada the 10-1 victory.

In the session's final game, Korea and the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) team went all the way to an extra end. In the eighth end, with NPA leading 5-4, Korean fourth player, Jae Goan Cha, tapped back the NPA second scoring stone but rolled out his own stone, only scoring one point and taking the game to an extra-end. In that extra-end NPA's skip, Konstantin Kurokhtin, wrecked his final stone on a guard, giving up a steal of one point and Korea the 6-5 win.

They said it

Haitao Wang; skip, China (after 9-4 win over Sweden): "I think that our stick was better than the one of the Swedish team, I think it was the key to win this game. I really like the atmosphere in the arena, it's so good to play here. We have a great connection with the other team members, we have a really good relationship."

Monika Kunkelova; lead, Slovakia (after 7-6 win over Finland): "It is amazing, it is perfect, being here. The first win is always important. The ice curls more than what we are used to, but on our practice we managed to adjust our game to it."

Session two results: Sweden 4-9 China; Korea 6-5 Neutral Paralympic Athletes; Slovakia 7-6 Finland; Canada 10-1 Norway

Standings after session two (win-loss):

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

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