Japan move into pole position with two sessions of round-robin play remaining

  • Skip Satsuki Fujisawa directs her team Photo: WCF / Michael Burns

Thursday (24 March) is the last day of round-robin play at the Ford World Women's Curling Championships 2016 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada, and in the morning session, Japan were playing Scotland with both teams looking for a win to close-in on a play-off place.

It was Japan who started stronger, their skip Satsuki Fujisawa hit-out a Scottish stone in the first end to score three points. In the fourth Scotland's skip Eve Muirhead played a tap-back to score two points and reduce Japan's lead to 5-3, but in the fifth Fujisawa had another hit, to score four points this time, for 9-3. Japan eventually won the game by 10-4 after just seven ends.

Russia faced Germany in this session and their skip Anna Sidorova played an angle-raise shot in the first end to open the scoring with three points. In the fourth end, Sidorova played a double take-out to score two more points for 6-3, on the way to an 8-3 victory. These two results mean that Japan take a clear lead at the top-of-the-table, with one game left [against second-placed Canada], while Scotland and Russia – both with one game left – are tied in fourth place.

In other games in this session, Sweden faced Finland and the Swedish fourth player Maria Prytz opened the scoring with a draw for five points in the first end. After this Sweden dominated to win by 10-3.

Korea beat Italy by 7-5, helped largely by a score of four in the ninth end.

They Said It

Satsuki Fujisawa; Japan skip (after 10-4 win over Scotland): "We got off to a good first end and played well. We were able to stay calm while the other team was getting a bit concerned. We're still playing the round-robin, so we're just focussing on our next game, our final round-robin game. We're just happy, it all seems to be coming together."

Anna Sidorova; Russia skip (after 8-3 win over Germany): "We’re just trying to keep things level and be even better from game-to-game. We need to keep that level and be even better to be in the top four."

RESULTS, Session 15

Finland 3-10 Sweden; Italy 5-7 Korea; Japan 10-4 Scotland; Russia 8-3 Germany

STANDINGS after Session 15 (W-L)

Japan 8-2
Canada 7-2
Switzerland 7-2
Russia 7-3
Scotland 7-3
Korea 5-5
Denmark 4-5
USA 4-5
Sweden 4-6
Germany 3-7
Finland 1-9
Italy 1-9

WCTV highlights: Next broadcast Canada v Japan on Thursday 24 March at 14.00 (Mountain Daylight Time), www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv

 WWCC 2016 session 15 results standings
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