Hosts Korea become first qualified team at World Juniors

  • Korea's vice skip and second player, Yu Jin Seong Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Korea's men's team became the first team to qualify from the round-robin, at the VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships, in the Gangneung Curling Centre, Gangneung, Republic of Korea, on Tuesday (21 February) evening.

It took all the way to an extra end, but hosts Korea kept their unbeaten record going with an 8-7 win over Scotland that guaranteed them a place in the weekend's page play-offs

Canada and USA also won, to keep on the heels of the Koreans, at the top-of-the-table.

The game between Korea and Scotland swung backwards and forwards with almost every end and, in the tenth, Scotland’s skip Cameron Bryce had a chance to score two points for the win, but his hit rolled out of the house, giving Scotland just one point from the end. This tied the game at 7-7, and forced an extra end.

In that extra end, Bryce’s last tap-up was just millimetres short, giving Korea the one point needed for their win without having to play their last stone.

The USA – Norway game started with four blank ends before Norway scored one point in the fifth for the half-time lead. After this, USA sealed the win with a score of three points in the ninth end, on the way to a 5-3 victory.

Against Switzerland, Canada moved ahead with a score of two points in the fourth end and then followed that up with a steal of three points in the fifth end, for a 6-1 lead. Try as they did, Switzerland simply could not get back on terms, and a further score of two points in the seventh end consolidated Canada’s position as they went on to win by 8-3.

These three results leave Korea qualified in first place on seven wins and no losses, while Canada and USA share second place behind them, on five wins and two losses each. Norway, Scotland and Switzerland are all tied in fourth place, on four wins each.

In the fourth game of the session, Sweden beat Italy by 8-5.

They said it

Andrew Stopera: skip, USA (after 5-3 win over Norway): “The goal today was two wins. Norway’s a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. That [win] puts us in really good shape for the play-offs – we’ve still got two games to come out and win. Every team here is good, so we’ve still got to come out and win those two games and play our best like we did today, we played a pretty good game there up and down the team. I hope there’s more to come.”

Tyler Tardi: skip, Canada (after 8-3 win over Switzerland): “We don’t want to look too far ahead, but we’re feeling confident. We’re throwing great and we’re finally playing the game that we’re used to, rather than playing it safe. That was certainly one of the top two games we’ve played here. To be honest, we’re pretty close to our peak performance. There are just a few very minor things and we’ll be fairly tough to beat in my opinion.”

Ki Jeong Lee; skip, Korea (after 8-7 win over Scotland): “I am very psyched and happy that we have got into the play-offs. Rather than showing the people a fancy-complicated game, we stuck to the basics – I think that is the secret to our wins.”

Results men’s session nine: Sweden 8-5 Italy; USA 5-3 Norway; Switzerland 3-8 Canada; Korea 8-7 Scotland

Standings after men’s session nine (W-L):

Q Korea 7-0
Canada 5-2
USA 5-2
Norway 4-3
Scotland 4-3
Switzerland 4-3
Italy 2-5
Sweden 2-5
China 1-5
Turkey 0-6

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WCTV highlights: next live game: Sweden v USA [men] (Wednesday 22 February at 14.00, +9 UTC)