Swift Current, Canada
Saturday 26 March 2016
Japan will contest their first World Women’s Curling Championship final tomorrow (Sunday 27 March) in Swift Current, Canada, when they meet former Gold medal winners, Switzerland, skipped by Binia Feltscher.
The final will be played at 15.00 (Mountain Daylight Time).
Russia faced Japan in Saturday evening's semi-final of the Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016 with the winners going on to face Switzerland in Sunday afternoon's Gold Medal Game, and the loser facing Canada in Sunday morning's (at 10.00, MDT) Bronze Medal Game.
Japan had last stone advantage and, looking to score more than one point from an end, elected to blank the first three ends. Eventually, Russian play forced Japan's skip Satsuki Fujisawa to settle for just one point in the fourth end, drawing her final stone inside Russian stones already there. It was now Russia's turn to have last stone and they levelled the score in the fifth end when their skip Anna Sidorova drew her final stone into the house.
Japan got a break-through in the sixth end as Fujisawa played a hit-and-stay to score two points for a 3-1 lead. However, Sidorova was able to draw her last stone of the seventh end into the house for two points to level the game again.
In the eighth end, Japan's Fujisawa was facing three Russian stones in the house when she came to play her last stone, but was able to hit-and-stay to score one point and lead by 4-3. In the ninth end, Russia's Sidorova came up short with her last draw to give Japan a steal of one and extend their lead to 5-3.
In what was a tense tenth end, Sidorova played a hit with her last stone that dislodged one Japanese stone and gave her a score of two points to tie the game and force an extra end. In the extra end Fujisawa had the last stone and she used it to hit-out a Russian stone and score two for the 7-5 win that puts Japan into a historic first-ever final, against Switzerland. Before that Russia will play Canada for Bronze medals.
Coverage on World Curling TV will continue tomorrow (Sunday 27 March) with Russia v Canada in the Bronze Medal Game at 10.00, followed by Switzerland v Japan in the Gold Medal Game at 15.00 (times are Mountain Daylight Time). Due to broadcast partner rights, the stream may not be available in your country. See http://www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2016/tv-schedule-ford-world-womens-curling-championship-2016 for more information.
They Said It
Satsuki Fujisawa; Japan skip (after 7-5 win over Russia): “It's the first time for me to be playing in the semi-final like this, with the fans and the cheering. It's all been fantastic.
“Yesterday we had trouble reading the ice, but today we just had a better time and were confident right from the beginning. Even when our opponents were making their shots we were still confident in the shots we were playing.
“All we can do tomorrow is to try to play again with the same confidence that we had today. We've been looking at social media to see how many people are supporting us back in Japan. It's great and wonderful, but if we look too much at that it'll make us nervous, so we just want to focus on having a good game and enjoy ourselves on the ice.”
Anna Sidorova; Russia skip (after 5-7 loss to Japan): “It was a tough game. Japan played well and we struggled a bit with the ice. A couple of mistakes were the difference today. That's the game, somebody, loses and somebody wins, not for us this time. It'll be a closer game against Canada tomorrow, but we're here to fight.”
Russia 5-7 Japan
WWCC 2016 remaining games
STANDINGS after semi-final (W-L)
Switzerland 10-2: qualified Gold final
Japan 10-3: qualified Gold final
Russia 9-4: qualified Bronze final
Canada 8-4: qualified Bronze final