Canada qualify for play-offs as tension mounts for others

  • Anna Sloan for Scotland - one of the team's still in contention for play-offs Photo: © WCF / Céline Stucki

The round-robin section of the CPT World Women’s Curling Championship 2017 in Beijing’s Capital Gymnasium, is now in its second-last day, with the tension mounting as teams chase qualification for the weekend’s medal play-offs.

Two of these teams are Scotland and Switzerland and they faced each other, in session 13 of round-robin play, knowing that a win was vital for their hopes. In the eighth end, Switzerland’s skip Alina Paetz hit out a Scottish stone to score one point and take a 4-3 lead. However, in the ninth end, Scotland’s skip Eve Muirhead drew her last stone around guards to score three points and take a 6-4 lead, on the way to a vital 7-4 win.

In another crucial game, USA faced Germany, and in the seventh end, USA’s skip Nina Roth hit her own last stone into a collection of stones already sitting in the house to score one point and reduce Germany’s lead to 4-3. But, this game came down to the wire and, in the tenth end, Germany’s skip Daniela Jentsch buried her last stone in the house. With it fully guarded it was virtually impossible for USA to score with the last stone, giving Germany a 6-4 win that keeps them in the medal hunt.

Italy faced China in this session and, thanks largely to a score of three points in the fourth end, it was the Italians who emerged victorious, with an 8-4 win.

The fourth game of this session was a top-of-the-table clash between unbeaten Canada and second-placed Sweden. In the fourth end, with the score at 2-0 to Canada, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg hit out a Canadian stone to score two points and level the game, at 2-2. In the sixth end, Hasselborg then drew her final stone directly onto the button to score the one point that reduced Canada’s lead to 4-3.

In the eighth end, Canada’s skip Rachel Homan played a draw with her last stone to score two points and take a 6-3 lead. Canada then went on to maintain their unbeaten record, winning by 6-4 to become the first team to qualify for Saturday’s (25 March) play-offs.

They said it

Eve Muirhead; skip, Scotland (after 7-4 win over Switzerland): "We knew what we had to do today, after a not good day at the office yesterday and that was to get two wins on the board to keep us in the competition. We did that. We were playing against two tough teams – China, the home nation, and Switzerland, who are playing really well – so we're really pleased. We couldn't really have asked for much more from today.”

Daniela Jentsch; skip, Germany (after 6-4 win over USA): “That was our best team performance so far but it got a little tight towards the end. My first stone of the tenth was too heavy and it didn’t curl enough, so when I had the chance again – a must, must make chance. I knew I had draw-weight and I have the best sweepers so I’m happy I made it for the team.”

Diana Gaspari; skip, Italy (after 8-4 win over China): “Every time for me [at the world championship] it’s so great and the three young girls on the team are enjoying being at the world championship. But, it’s really hard for them and the emotion is really big – big sadness, big happiness and they have to get used to that.”

Rachel Homan; skip, Canada (after 6-4 win over Sweden): “That was a strong performance. It’s always important to have the hammer, no matter who you’re playing. You’ve got to try to get your twos with the hammer and force the one when you don’t and we did a good job on that today. We’re focusing on one game at a time, not having any distraction and focussing on what we need to focus on.”

Results after session 13: Scotland 7-4 Switzerland; Germany 6-4 USA; China 4-8 Italy; Sweden 4-6 Canada

Standings after session 13 (W-L):

Canada 8-0
Sweden 6-2
Russia 5-3
Scotland 5-4
Switzerland 5-4
Czech Republic 4-4
Germany 4-4
Korea 4-4
USA 4-4
Italy 3-6
China 2-7
Denmark 0-8

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WCTV highlights next live game: USA v Russia (Wednesday 22 March at 19.00, +8 UTC)