Session 1: Japan, Switzerland, Italy and Sweden open with wins

Japan beat Russia 7-4 in Saturday afternoon's opening session of round robin play at the 2015 Ford World Men's Curling Championship, being staged in the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Canada.

Japan skip Yusuke Morozumi led his team to an opening win against Russia Photo: WCF/Patrick Fulgencio

This Japanese team was one of the surprises of last year's Championship in Beijing, China, narrowly missing out on the play-offs as they finished fifth.

They showed good form once again in this opening win, leading 4-0 after just two ends.

Later, in the ninth end, Russia's skip Evgeny Arkhipov played an angled raise take-out to score two points and reduce Japan's lead to 6-4. This was not enough however as Japan went on to win 7-4.

After the game, Japan's lead player Kosuke Morozumi said: "This is our fourth time at the Worlds but the first time we have won our opening game. We were comfortable with the ice and managed to get a good reading of it early in the game."

Two of the games in this session went to extra ends.

One of them involved Switzerland and the Czech Republic. In the seventh end of this game, Switzerland's skip Marc Pfister drew his final shot into the house to score two points for a 4-3 lead.

The game was level at 5-5 after ten ends and in the extra end Pfister drew his final stone through the narrowest of gaps to take out a Czech stone and score the one point needed for their 6-5 win.

Scotland and Italy played in the other game that went to an extra end.

In the eighth end of this game, Italy's fourth player Amos Mosaner drew his final effort onto the button to score one point to level the score at 4-4.

The score moved to 5-5 after ten ends forcing the extra end. There, the Scots had last stone advantage but their skip Ewan MacDonald was light with his final draw, giving Italy a single-point steal and their 6-5 win.

After this win, Italy skip Joel Retornaz said: "Being here at the Worlds is something big for us. Starting with a win gives us confidence and one win, which could be very important at the end of the round-robin."

In the fourth game of this session, 2013 world champions Sweden faced Finland.

The Finns moved into a 2-1 lead in the fourth end when their skip Aku Kauste hit out a Swedish stone, and were 3-1 up after five ends.

However, in the tenth end, Sweden's skip Niklas Edin drew his final stone into the house to score two points and win the game by 6-5.

Afterwards, Edin said: "We made a lot of easy mistakes in the beginning and it took a while to get control of the rocks and the ice. But then, once we got that, we played pretty good. I was glad we could turn it around at the end."

RESULTS
Session 1:
Russia 4, Japan 7; Czech Republic 5, Switzerland 6 (Extra End); Scotland 5, Italy 6 (Extra End); Sweden 6, Finland 5.

STANDINGS
After 1 session of play:

1. Italy 1-0
1. Japan 1-0
1. Sweden 1-0
1. Switzerland 1-0
5. Czech Republic 0-1
5. Finland 0-1
5. Russia 0-1
5. Scotland 0-1
9. Canada 0-0
9. China 0-0
9. Norway 0-0
9. USA 0-0

During the round robin portion of a competition, teams with the same win-loss record will be listed alphabetically, by their three letter code, and ranked equal.

Results, news, videos and photos from the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015 can be seen here on the World Curling Federation’s official event website: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2015

Video Highlights: Highlights from games throughout the Championship will be available to watch courtesy of World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation.

WCTV will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Halifax. The full broadcast schedule is here: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2015/schedule

In addition, curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2015 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Social Media
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship
Twitter: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #wmcc2015 #curling

The 2016 Ford World Men's Curling Championship will be staged in Basel, Switzerland starting on Saturday 2nd April.

 Session 1 Statistics (Supplied by Curling Canada)
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