March 30, 2013
In the opening session of round-robin play in the Ford World Men's Curling Championships in Victoria, Canada, the host nation got off to a winning start against Pacific-Asia Champions China.
In the seventh end, Canadian skip Brad Jacobs cleared out a Chinese stone, leaving some of his own in the house to score three points for a 7-2 lead. In the eighth end, China's Rui Liu promoted one of his own stones to knock out a Canadian stone already in the house, to score two points, but this was not enough and eventually Canada won by 7-6.
This was Jacob and his North Ontario team’s first appearance representing their country, and afterwards, he said: "It feels real good to come out with a win in our first game, against a good team, too. We made all the shots we had to make, we got some misses out of China and we capitalised on that. You could really feel the crowd, you could feel a buzz the whole game. We’ve never experienced that before. It was really special for us."
In Finland's first appearance at this level since 2009, they faced European champions Sweden. In the third end, Sweden's skip, Niklas Edin, was short and gave up two points to hand Finland a surprise 3-0 lead.
The Swedes fought back however, and in the fifth end, skip Niklas Edin drew for two points to reduce the Finnish lead to 4-2. The Swedish recovery continued as they scored four points in the ninth end, with another Edin draw, to take the lead for the first time, at 7-5 before going on to win 7-6.
Sweden's skip Niklas Edin was contrite afterwards, saying: "We had a terrible start - I had a terrible start, I missed everything at the beginning and they played some really nice shots. We got a fortunate mistake by their team so we could win the game. We were lucky to win there, for sure."
The Czech Republic faced Norway in this session and, in the fourth end skip Jiri Snitil scored two points to take the lead for the first time, at 3-2. Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud took the lead again in the eighth end, with a draw for one point and a 5-4 lead, but the Czechs went on to win by 8-5.
Snitil had previously led the Czechs to their first-ever international medal - a bronze - at the 2012 European Championships, and after this winning start, he said: "Patience was the key there. We read the ice better than the Norwegians, they struggled sometimes. We were just thinking about this game, shot by shot." Speaking about the difference his team's medal-winning performance had made, he added: "We found out we can play any team, especially from Europe. We know we can beat the European teams if we play good, but this is just the first game here - first win - we have ten games to go."
The fourth game of the session saw Switzerland face Russia, and in the fourth end, Swiss skip Sven Michel scored two points to take a 4-1 lead. Russia managed to score two points in the eighth end to narrow the score to 5-4 in Switzerland's favour, but the game ended as a 6-4 victory for the Swiss.
After this game, Swiss skip Sven Michel said: "We were a little bit nervous before this game, but we're really happy that it worked out. This is our first time at a World Championship and we just weren't sure how it would go. The crowd was really noisy and it was really exciting, plus we made some good shots which made it even more fun."
Canada 7, China 6; Sweden 7, Finland 6; Czech Republic 8, Norway 5; Switzerland 6, Russia 4.
Standings after 1 session:
Canada won 1, lost 0
Czech Republic 1-0
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters outside Canada of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013. WCF Broadcast Partners for the 2013 World Curling Championships include Eurosport (Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player) in Europe, NHK in Japan, CCTV-5 in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil. In Canada, TSN (RDS in French) will carry all Team Canada games throughout the round robin, followed by the playoffs and medal games. http://www.worldcurling.org/tv-web-coverage
In addition, Curling fans around the world are able to follow selected live coverage of the Events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
Event website: http://www.curling.ca/championships/worlds/
Live Results can be found here: http://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/*quest*e=12
With all results mirrored on the WCF Results Database: http://results.worldcurling.org
Additional coverage and galleries will also be available on the WCF website: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-womens-curling-championship-2012
Event Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fordworldcurling
Event Twitter Hashtags: #2013wmcc #curling
The World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 will take place in Beijing, China from 29 March to 6 April.