Switzerland and Sweden join Japan in three-way tie for first place at the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s championship

  • Switzerland fourth, Benoit Schwarz © WCF / Jeffrey Au

In Wednesday afternoon’s 13th round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada, Switzerland beat Korea by 11-2 in just six ends, while Sweden had a 9-5 win over Russia. These results mean that Switzerland and Sweden now join Japan – who sat out this session – at the top of the table, on seven wins and one loss.

In the other games of this session, Norway beat Germany by 5-3, while United States came from behind to beat China by 7-5.

In the first end of their game against Korea, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz drew his second stone into position to open the scoring with two points. Then, in the fourth end Schwarz played a hit and roll to score another two points and give his team a 5-1 lead.

In the fifth end, Korea’s skip SooHyuk Kim attempted to hit out two of his own stones and roll his shooter into position. But he got the angle wrong and, as well as clearing his target stones, he let his shooter roll out, handing Switzerland a steal of six points and an 11-1 lead. Korea then conceded after the sixth end, with a final score of 11-2 to the Swiss.

Russia faced defending champions Sweden in this session and Sweden went into the break with a 6-1 lead.

However, in the sixth end, Russia’s skip Sergey Glukhov played a draw with his second stone, to score three points in the end and reduce Sweden’s lead to 6-4.

In the seventh end, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin hit out a Russian stone to score two points and stretch his team’s lead to 8-4. Sweden went on to win by 9-5.

After this win, Edin said, “We had one missed shot in the sixth end but there are no worries, we felt in control. A 7-1 record shows that everything is going well, with a big game tonight [against Canada].”

In their game against China, United States were down by 0-3 when, in the third end, their skip John Shuster played a hit and roll double tap-back to score one point and reduce China’s lead to 3-1.

United States then had a steal of two points in the sixth end to take the lead for the first time at 5-4.

Eventually, in the tenth end of the game, China’s skip Qiang Zou was heavy with his final draw attempt, leaving the American stone already sitting in the house to steal one point and win the game for the United States by 7-5.

This result puts the Americans into fifth place overall, with six play-off qualification slots available.

Speaking after this win, Shuster said, “A win like that just re-affirms everything I know about our team – we’re a resilient group. Now we’ve got to keep executing. We’ve played some great ends, but we’ve had some bad ones too, so if we can eliminate the bad ends, we could have a chance of winning this thing.”

Hosts Canada sit in fourth place on the table behind the three joint leaders, while Italy and Scotland share the crucial last qualifying position, in sixth place.

At the other end of the table, Korea have now suffered eight losses.

Results: Germany 3-5 Norway; China 5-7 United States; Switzerland 11-2 Korea; Russia 5-9 Sweden.

Current Standings (W-L):

Japan 7-1
Switzerland 7-1
Sweden 7-1
Canada 6-1
United States 6-2
Italy 4-3
Scotland 4-3
Netherlands 3-4
Norway 2-6
Russia 2-6
China 1-7
Germany 1-7
Korea 0-8

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