Semi-final match-ups set, Olympic berths earned, after tense quarter-finals

  • Team Czech Republic qualify for the semi-finals Photo @ WCF / Richard Gray

There was no lack of a show in the quarter-final games on Friday (28 April) night, in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2017 in Lethbridge, Canada.

Not only did Canada, China, Czech Republic and Switzerland improve their shot at a world title, but took significant steps forward in Olympic Qualification Point standings.

With today’s wins, China and Canada have secured their berth for the 2018 Olympic Winter games, along with 2016 world champions Russia, based on earning the highest amount of points at last year’s championship in Karlstad, Sweden.

China play Canada and Switzerland face Czech Republic in the semi-finals at 12.00 on Saturday (29 April).

Previously undefeated Latvia faced Canada in their quarter-final match up. After a strong fight back from a four point deficit, Latvia closed the gap in the sixth end when Canada came up light on a draw to the four-foot against two. Latvia stole a single point and trailed by one after six ends. In the seventh end, Canada’s Joanne Courtney made a take-out for four points to seal their semi-final slot and a 10-5 win.

In a Pacific-Asia battle, 2016 silver medallists China met unbeaten Korea. The Korean’s had a 2-1 lead after the third end, but it was downhill from there for the duo. China’s Dexin Ba and Rui Wang scored three points in the fourth end, and capped it off with a total of four more stolen points to win the game 8-2 after seven ends.

In another tight semi-final game Finland and Czech Republic went head-to-head. This game came down to the final stone to determine the winner. Finland led the game after four ends 4-1 with two consecutive steals. But, the Czechs capitalised on their power play in the sixth end with a take-out to score three points. On the Finnish power play, Oona Kauste and Tomi Rantamaki were forced to a single point. In the last end, Finland missed their final draw, leaving Czech Republic lying for two points. This gave Czech Republic the victory by 6-5.

Switzerland’s Martin Rios and Jenny Perret, the only remaining unbeaten team, won against Norway 8-4 in their semi-final. After an even first half, Norway gave up a steal of one point on their power play when they were unsuccessful removing a stone locked on the button.

Needing to bounce back with a multiple score, Norway were forced to one point in the seventh end to make the game 5-4 in Switzerland’s advantage. The Swiss got more than they needed in the eighth end, scoring three points, and earning themselves a semi-final berth against Czech Republic.

Another six teams can still gain enough points to qualify for the final four places in the Olympic Winter Games, on Saturday. These teams are Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland and USA.


They said it

Joanne Courtney; Canada (after 10-5 win over Latvia): “We’re extremely pleased with the day. We knew we had to make the semi-final here for Canada to have a spot in the Olympics and we’re just thrilled we got the job done. We took all of our lessons from the week and brought them into today’s game. We want to bring a medal back to Canada. We’ve only won one bronze medal so we’d love to get a medal tomorrow, so we’ll be playing just as hard as we did today and hopefully we come out on the right end.”

Dexin Ba; China (after 8-2 win over Korea): “That was a very difficult game, we tried our best and I’m very happy now. It feels great to win!”

Martin Rios; Switzerland (after 8-4 win over Norway): “I feel great. I struggled a lot in the first couple of ends and we were just in the game because of Jenny [Perret]. She made three or four really amazing shots, otherwise we would have been down a lot. I think it’s just tough games now in the play-offs. We had to play Spain, and for me Spain is always a special game, then we had to play Norway and I lost to them four years ago in the quarters, having won all our games in the group stages. There’s no easy game now, so whoever comes we just try to give our best, play good curling, and try to win two more.”

Zuzana Hajkova; Czech Republic (after 6-5 win over Finland): "I think I’m calmed down now. That’s what I wanted to achieve – it’s a new competition now. If we win, we win, and if we don’t I’m going to miss it."


Results after B-side quarter-finals: Sweden 2-9 Scotland; Russia 7-5 Ireland; Italy 8-5 Spain; USA 11-0 Hungary

Results after A-side quarter-finals: Latvia 5-10 Canada; Korea 2-8 China; Switzerland 8-4 Norway; Czech Republic 6-5 Finland

Standings: visit http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2017/livescores


Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of this championship on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Live broadcast coverage may be geo-blocked in your region. For all broadcast information visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast


To keep up-to-date with all the action from the WMDCC 2017, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WMDCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling


WCTV highlights next live game: China v Canada (Saturday 9 April at 12.00, -6 UTC)