Winter Universiade 2015 semi-finals confirmed

  • Hundreds of spectators have been cheering on teams throughout the round-robin at the Winter Universiade 2015 in Granada, Spain Photo: www.granada2015.org

The semi-final line-ups have now been confirmed following the conclusion of the round-robin stages of the curling competition at the 27th Winter Universiade taking place in Granada, Spain.

Canada, Sweden, Russia and Switzerland have all qualified for the women’s semi-finals while Norway, Russia, Great Britain and Sweden have qualified in the men’s competition.

10 men’s and 10 women’s teams from around the world have competed in a round-robin consisting of nine sessions of play, after which the four best teams from each group move on to the semi-finals.

In the women’s competition, the Canadian team skipped by Breanne Meakin finished the round-robin at the top of the standings. They are the only team in the competition to remain undefeated with a 9-0 record.

Canada’s team this year includes Jessica Armstrong (lead), Lynn Kreviazuk (second), Lauren Horton (second) and skip Breanne Meakin.

According to skip Breanne Meakin, the Canadian team has had a great week in Granada both on and off the ice. She said: “The venue itself is perfect. We prepared ourselves for any kind of ice situation and we couldn’t be happier. It’s consistent, it’s been a real treat to play on. The team is playing really well, they’re making my job easy, so that’s good. And you know, we didn’t go in with the mentality of not losing a game, it just happened that way, and we were playing really well. Our first goal was to make the play-offs and that happened, so now we move on with the goal of winning gold.”

Canada will meet Switzerland in the semi-finals. Switzerland finished fourth in the standings after winning a tie-breaker game against Korea on Wednesday morning.

The Swiss team is skipped by Michele Jaeggi and coached by Anita Jaeggi, with Nora Baumann playing lead, Sina Wettstein second and Michele Gribi third. Janine Wyss is their alternate.

In the other women’s semi-final, second placed Sweden will play against Russia, who finished third in the standings.
Sweden’s line-up includes Sofia Mabergs (lead), Anna Huhta (second), Cecilia Östlund (third) and Sara McManus (skip).

Russia’s team includes European Curling Championship 2014 silver medallists Ekaterina Galkina (lead), Alexandra Saitova (second), Margarita Fomina (third) and Anna Sidorova (skip). Viktoriia Moiseeva is their alternate.

The women’s semi-finals will be played at 09:00 (all times CET) on Thursday 12 February and the winners of the semi-finals move on to the final, which will be played on Friday 13 February at 09:00.

The losers of the semi-finals will meet in the Bronze medal game, which will be played also on Thursday 12 February at 16:00.

The round-robin stage of the men’s competition saw Norway finish in top spot with seven wins and two losses.

Russia took second place with the same win-loss record and the other two men’s teams to go through to the play-off stages are Great Britain in third place and Sweden in fourth.

The standings after the round-robin confirmed the semi-final line-up which will see Norway take on Sweden.

Their previous game in the round-robin proved to be extremely tight, with Norway winning 6-4.

Three of Norway’s team played in the Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy in 2013 where they finished fourth.

This year’s team is skipped by Steffen Walstad with Sander Rolvåg playing lead, Magnus Nedregotten second and Eirik Mjoen third. Mjoen is the only player in the line-up, who was not a part of the team playing in Trentino.

Norwegian skip Steffen Walstad is very happy with the team’s performance in the competition so far. He said: “We just focused on winning one game at a time, and got lucky enough to get comfortable with the ice early on. Also, it’s real nice to have our regular team reinforced with Magnus, who’s not usually playing with us. The communication has worked out better than we expected and we hope we’ll be able to carry that on into the play-offs.”

Team Sweden includes Johannes Patz (lead), Jesper Johansson (second), Gustav Eskilsson (skip & third) and Patric Mabergs (fourth).

In the other men’s semi-final, Russia will play against Great Britain.

The Russian team includes Andrey Drozdov (alternate), Anton Kalalb (lead), Artur Razhabov (second) Alexey Stukalskiy (third) and Evgeny Arkhipov (skip).

The team from Great Britain includes Stuart Taylor (alternate), Alasdair Schreiber (lead), Thomas Muirhead (second), Grant Hardie (third) and Kyle Smith (skip).

Women’s standings after round-robin (W-L):
1. Canada 9-0 (To play Switzerland in semi-final)
2. Sweden 7-2 (To play Russia in semi-final)
3. Russia 7-2 (To play Sweden in semi-final)
4. Switzerland 5-4 (To play Canada in semi-final)
5. Republic of Korea 5-4
6. Norway 4-5
7. Great Britain 4-5
8. USA 3-6
9. Japan 1-8
10. Spain 0-9

Men’s standings after round-robin (W-L):
1 Norway 7-2 (To play Sweden in semi-final)
2 Russia 7-2 (To play Great Britain in semi-final)
3 Great Britain 6-3 (To play Russia in semi-final)
4 Sweden 6-3 (To play Norway in semi-final)
5. Canada 5-4
6. Czech Republic 3-6
7. Japan 3-6
8. USA 3-6
9. Switzerland 3-6
10. Spain 2-7

You can follow live scores, results and standings from this event here: http://wuni2015.worldcurling.net

Keep up to date with all the latest action from this event via the official Winter Universiade 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en

The World Curling Federation will also be posting photographs on their official Facebook and Google+ accounts throughout the week.

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