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

  • Korea record for world men’s win © WCF / Jeffrey Au

In Thursday night’s 17th round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada, Korea beat Norway by 8-5 in their 11th and second-last game to finally record their first win of the event.

Elsewhere in this session, Italy beat Netherlands by 6-4 while Scotland were 8-6 winners over hosts Canada, results that keep Italian and Scottish qualification hopes alive.

The Olympic champions, United States also won, by 10-4 over Japan, and they too remain on-track for play-off qualification with a vital last day of round-robin games to come.

Korea started this game by giving up a steal of one point in the first end to Norway, but scores of three points in the second and fourth ends put them on the road to their 8-5 victory.

A pleased Korean skip SooHyuk Kim said, “We’re happy to have won but, of course, it’s too late. We’re going to prepare well for tomorrow and try to give ourselves a good ending tomorrow. I’m very happy to be playing here in front of all these crowds of fans, it’s terrific.”

Canada faced Scotland in this session, and in the opening end, Canada’s skip Kevin Koe played a double raise triple take-out to open the scoring with one point.

The Scots had a steal of one point in the third end to take a 3-1 lead, then, eventually, in the tenth end, Scotland’s skip Bruce Mouat played a raise double take-out on two Canadian stones in the house to score three points and win the game by 8-6, a result that keeps Scottish qualification hopes alive.

After the game Scotland’s Mouat said, “That was a good win and we played really well. It’s backs against the wall and we had to come out fighting, and we did. When we had hammer, we were looking good for twos most of the time, so, in the tenth, we just said we should do just the same as we had done. Now we probably have to win the next two to qualify but at least it’s still in our own hands.”

United States faced Japan in this session, and, in the sixth end, American skip John Shuster played a double take-out to score one point and take a 7-2 lead.

Later, in the eighth Shuster had a draw-shot for three points to move the score onto 10-4, at which point Japan conceded.

After this seventh win for his team, United States skip John Shuster said, “We came out and executed well early. For a change we had the hammer to start the game and came out and got a big three points in the first end. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully a few more days too.”

Italy faced Netherlands, and, in the seventh end, their skip Joel Retornaz played a delicate tap-raise shot to score two points and take a 4-3 lead. In the eighth end the Netherlands’ fourth player Wouter Goesgens played a draw to score one point and level the game at 4-4.

Then, in the ninth end, Italy’s Retornaz played a hit for two to re-take the lead at 6-4. Netherlands ran out of stones in the tenth end to give Italy their seventh win of the week and keep their play-off hopes alive.

Now as the teams go into the last day of round-robin play, with Sweden and Japan already qualified, five teams remain in contention for the other four play-off places – Switzerland, Canada, Italy, United States, and Scotland. Despite their win in this session, Korea remain at the foot of the table.

Results: Netherlands 4-6 Italy; Canada 6-8 Scotland; United States 10-4 Japan; Norway 5-8 Korea.

Current Standings (W-L):

Q Sweden 9-1
Switzerland 8-2
Q Japan 8-3
Canada 7-3
Italy 7-3
United States 7-3
Scotland 6-4
Germany 3-7
Netherlands 3-7
Russia 3-7
China 2-8
Norway 2-8
Korea 1-10

Q = qualified for the play-offs

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