First win for China at Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s championship

  • China skip, Qiang Zou © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Monday evening’s eighth round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada saw China beat Korea by 9-8 to record their first win of the event so far.

Elsewhere, defending champions Sweden beat Japan in seven ends by 8-3, while Switzerland were 9-6 winners over Germany. Because of these two results, Sweden and Switzerland now re-join Canada – who sat this session out – at the top of the rankings, undefeated on five wins.

United States were the other winners in this session, beating Russia by 10-3 for their fourth victory in succession, to continue their charge up the table.

In the second end of the game between Korea and China, Korea’s skip SooHyuk Kim drew his second stone of the end into position to score five points and take a 5-1 lead.

China gradually brought themselves back into the game and took a 7-6 lead in the seventh end with a steal of two points. Eventually, in the tenth end, China skip Qiang Zou played a draw onto the four-foot ring with his final stone to score two points from the end and win by 9-8.

After this win, Dexin Ba, second player for China, said, “After our first win we feel so happy. In the first half of the game we were down by four, but we climbed back. We were not nervous before the last shot as we knew we can put it in position for two. It’s a world championship, and there are no easy games.”

In the third end of the game between defending champions Sweden and Japan, with the scores tied at 1-1, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin played a soft take-out on a Japan stone to score three points and take a 4-1 lead.

The Swedes scored another three points in the fifth end when Edin played a raise take-out. They went on to win by 8-3 in seven ends.

In the third end of the game between Switzerland and Germany, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz played a raise double take-out on German stones to score two points and take a 4-2 lead.

The Swiss then scored two points in the third, fifth and eighth ends on the way to their 9-6 win.

Switzerland’s skip Peter de Cruz said, “We’re almost halfway through the round-robin and we’re where we want to be, but we have a lot of very tough games to come up. We know that if we play at the same level we’ve been playing at, we should be at least good enough to get close in our future games. We’ve just got to keep our heads down and not start thinking about the end of the tournament too much.”
In the fifth end of his team’s game against Russia, United States skip John Shuster played a double take-out on Russian stones to score four points from the end and take a 6-2 lead. Helped by a score of three points in the eighth end, United States went on to win by 10-3.

These results mean there is a three-way tie among Canada, Switzerland and Sweden at the top of the table, with Japan and United States sharing fourth place. Behind them, Italy currently occupy the crucial sixth – and last – qualification slot.

At the foot of the table, Korea and Norway are still seeking their first wins.

Results: Sweden 8-3 Japan; Russia 3-10 United States; China 9-8 Korea; Switzerland 9-6 Germany.

Current Standings(W-L):

Canada 5-0
Switzerland 5-0
Sweden 5-0
Japan 4-1
United States 4-1
Italy 2-2
Netherlands 2-3
Scotland 1-3
China 1-4
Germany 1-4
Russia 1-4
Norway 0-4
Korea 0-5

Watch, follow, engage

Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2019 #curling