Two play-off places left with two sessions remaining, as Sweden qualify

  • Sweden's Sara McManus in the Capital Gymnasium Photo: © WCF / Céline Stucki

As Thursday (23 March) morning’s third-last session of round-robin action in the CPT World Women’s Curling Championship 2017k, in Beijing, China, unfolded, Canada had already qualified, but it was still unclear which three teams would join them in the weekend medal play-offs.

In this session, Sweden faced hosts China, knowing that a win would seal a play-off spot for them. In the second end, their skip Anna Hasselborg drew her last stone into the house to score three points and take a 3-1 lead. In the sixth end, she pushed out a Chinese stone with her last to score another two points and move her lead to 7-2. Sweden went on to win by 10-4.

Canada, already assured of top spot in the play-offs, faced Italy and in the fourth end, their skip Rachel Homan drew into the house to score three points in the end and take a 5-2 lead. Italy could not really respond to this and Canada went on to win 8-5 to retain their unbeaten record at the top of the field.

Switzerland were battling for a play-off spot as they faced USA and in the sixth end when she was 1-4 down, Switzerland’s skip Alina Paetz drew her second stone into the house to score two points and reduce USA’s lead to 4-3. But, in the next end, USA’s skip Nina Roth increased her lead to 6-3 when she hit out a Swiss stone to score two points in the end. USA went on to win by 8-5. This result gives both these teams a won five, lost five record, which keeps them in contention for the play-offs – Germany are also in this position.

The fourth game of this session was between Germany and Scotland, who went onto the ice for this game tied together in the crucial fourth qualifying spot along with Switzerland.

In the fourth end, Scotland’s skip Eve Muirhead hit out a German stone to score two points and move onto a 4-1 lead. In the ninth end, Muirhead played another hit, scoring three points this time to end the game with a 7-2 score, a result that keeps the Scots on-track for the play-offs.

They said it

Rachel Homan; skip, Canada (after 8-5 win over Italy): “Canada would love to see a gold again and we’d love to bring a gold for Canada. We’ve put ourselves in a good position, we’re in the 2-1 game and we’re going to try to make that final. Everyone is trying to win every single game – every game matters.”

Anna Hasselborg; skip, Sweden (after 10-4 win over China): “That’s amazing! Our first goal of the tournament was to secure the play-offs and secure the spot in the Olympics for Sweden and we’ve done just that. We’re feeling good, we’re playing better all the time. The girls have been playing amazing all week. Yesterday they made a huge team effort when I was shaking a bit, so this game was just like icing on the cake.”

Tabitha Peterson; vice-skip, USA (after 8-5 win over Switzerland): “At this point it’s a sudden death kind of thing. We need to win them all to control our own destiny and hopefully things shake out in our favour. We came out strong and held in there throughout the game.”

Eve Muirhead; skip, Scotland (after 7-2 win over Germany): “She [German skip, Daniela Jentsch] is always a really tough opponent. You have to play well to beat them and I think the girls played well out there. We had a lot of good shot making and stones in good places, which made it hard for her. All we could do is put the pressure on her and that’s exactly what we did and we played great to get the win.

Results after session 15: Sweden 10-4 China; Italy 5-8 Canada; Switzerland 5-8 USA; Scotland 7-2 Germany

Standings after session 15 (W-L):

Q Canada 10-0
Q Sweden 8-2
Russia 6-3
Scotland 6-4
Germany 5-5
Switzerland 5-5
USA 5-5
Czech Republic 4-5
Korea 4-5
Italy 3-7
China 2-8
Denmark 0-9

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WCTV highlights next live game: USA v Korea (Thursday 23 March at 14.00, +8 UTC)