Canada, Norway, Russia and Scotland are through to the playoff stages of the 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Prague.
Sunday was a day of great suspense at the Roztyly Curling Hall. While the top four teams are clear for the final stages of the event, the suspense lingers for three teams at the bottom of the standings – Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic - all tied on two wins and seven losses. They now face tiebreakers to decide which two teams will be relegated to the World Wheelchair Championship qualifying event next October in Finland.
Canada finished the round robin unbeaten with nine wins. “The score was not indicative of the game,” said Canadian Skip Jim Armstrong after beating Scotland 9-4. “They had last rock and we ran them up and down for a couple of ends and I decided we’d take a cautious risk in end three and see if we could take two and get back in control. The interesting thing is that those first four ends were played exactly as able-bodied curlers would play it and I think that speaks for the calibre of the game today,” added Armstrong, himself a former able-bodied curler.
Canada now faces Norway in the 1v2 playoff scheduled for 14:30 local time on Monday. Norway won their last game of the round robin 7-6 against Germany.
The 3v4 playoff will see Russia taking on Scotland and is also scheduled for 14:30 local time on Monday. Russia took the long road to this year’s world championship, winning a place at this world championship at last year’s qualifying event. Russian skip Marat Romanov was overjoyed after beating China 6-3 to secure a playoff spot. “Our performance has exceeded our expectations” said Romanov, “this is the first time we’ve reached such heights at the World Championships.”
“Obviously today has not been our best day at the office” said Scottish Skip Aileen Neilson after losing 4-9 to Canada and 4-5 to China. “But our goal was to get into the business end of the week and we’ve done that. Tomorrow we are going to come out fighting. We know that if we play the way we did with our six wins, there’s absolutely nothing to stop us coming out on top.”
China finished fifth overall. The Korea finishes sixth and USA in seventh position. All three qualify for the next year’s world championship in Chuncheon City, South Korea.
The tiebreakers for the final three positions in the standings will take place on Monday with Sweden facing the Czech Republic at 9:30 local time. The loser of this game finishes 10th and drops down to the next qualification event. The winner goes on to meet Germany at 14:30. The winner of this second tie-break qualifies for Korea and the loser is relegated.
Standings after Day 6 – end of Round Robin
1. Canada 9-0 (Qualified for playoffs)
2. Norway 6-3 (Qualified for playoffs)
3. Russia 6-3 (Qualified for playoffs)
4. Scotland 6-3 (Qualified for playoffs)
5. China 5-4 (qualified for WWhCC 2012)
6. Korea 4-5 (qualified for WWhCC 2012 as host)
7. USA 3-6 (qualified for WWhCC 2012)
Czech Republic 2-7
Results Session 12
Russia-China 3-6; Czech Republic-Korea 2-7; Germany-Sweden 7-3; Scotland-Canada 4-9.
Results Session 11
Czech Republic-USA 3-9; Germany-Norway 6-7; China-Scotland 5-4; Russia-Sweden 8-3.
Full Round Robin linescores: http://www.curling.cz/vysledky_dotyk/2010_11/295_ex.php
Schedule of Play: http://curling2011.ic.cz/?page_id=140
Live webcams from the Curling Hall Roztyly (Internet Explorer only):
Sheet A/1: http://www.curlingpromo.cz/curlingove-webove-kamery-hala-roztyly_a1.php
Sheet B/2: http://www.curlingpromo.cz/curlingove-webove-kamery-hala-roztyly_b1.php
Sheet C/3: http://www.curlingpromo.cz/curlingove-webove-kamery-hala-roztyly_c1.php
Sheet D/4: http://www.curlingpromo.cz/curlingove-webove-kamery-hala-roztyly_d1.php
The official website for the event: http://curling2011.ic.cz/
Results are mirrored on the WCF results database: http://results.worldcurling.org/Championship.aspx?id=419