Canada’s Trish Paulsen, fighting for survival, beat Russia’s Anna Sidorova, already assured of a Page Play-off place, by 6-3 in one of the major encounters of the seventh session of round-robin play at the World Junior Curling Championships in Perth, Scotland on Wednesday afternoon.
The game was close all the way until Paulsen scored two in the eighth end and stole two in the ninth for a 6-2 lead. Russia scored one in the tenth, but it was not enough.
Afterwards, Paulsen, who has to beat USA and then Scotland in her last two round-robin games on Thursday to keep her campaign alive, said, “we were fighting for our lives out there...it was that kind of game. When we have a goal in mind and when we have to win, we play great. We showed that we’re able to play here, so if we keep playing like that we’ve still got a chance for the play-offs”.
Scotland’s Eve Muirhead cruised to a 10-2 win over Japan’s Sayaka Yoshimura to not only re-join Russia at the top of the rankings, but also to ensure her Page Play-off place. Afterwards, Muirhead said, “that was a really solid game by all of us. I don’t think it was a case of them missing a lot of shots, it was more us putting so much pressure on them and leaving them difficult shots”.
The organisers have sold out all tickets for Sunday’s women’s final, with a huge local expectation that Muirhead – going for a record fourth junior world title – will be involved. About that, she said, “we’re hoping that we make it to please everyone, but I think I’ve just got to forget about that. We shouldn’t take any pressure from that at all”.
Sweden’s Jonna McManus beat France’s Anna Li by 11-2 to establish a clear third place on the rankings. This was yet another heavy defeat for winless France, who will now face a challenge for their place in next year’s line-up, but, remarkably, Li and her team were still able to take the positives out of their experience.
Li said, “It’s been a difficult week, but my team only started curling in September. At the moment I am on a year studying at university in Southern Spain and there’s not any ice to practise there! I’ve tried to come back to France to train as much as possible. But we’ve all had a taste of a world championship and we are not giving up. Our plan is to move on to play the European Championships C group competition in September”.
Meanwhile, USA’s Rebecca Hamilton beat Norway’s Kristine Davanger by 7-1 to move into a clear fourth, leaving Norway in a tie with Japan, Canada and Switzerland’s Manuela Siegrist on three wins each and fifth place.
In her seventh session game Siegrist beat the Czech Republic’s Anna Kubeskova, who now cannot qualify for the medal section, by 6-3. After this game, Siegrist said, “it was a very tight game, both teams made a lot of good shots. We played a lot of take-outs so the game was tight but I think we never gave up”.
“Our games against Sweden and Japan tomorrow are very important. The standard of competition is higher than in Flims last year”.
Women’s Standings after round 7:
Czech Republic 2-5
Round 7: France 2, Sweden 11; Canada 6, Russia 3; Norway 1, USA 7; Switzerland 6, Czech Republic 3; Scotland 10, Japan 2