Japan and Switzerland progress to the LGT World Women’s semi-finals

  • Switzerland reach LGT World Women’s semi-finals © WCF / Céline Stucki

Switzerland beat China by 7-6 while Japan were 11-3 winners over Russia in Saturday morning’s qualification games at the LGT World Women’s Championship in Silkeborg, Denmark. These two teams now move onto the semi-finals, where Japan will face Olympic champions Sweden and Switzerland play Korea.

Switzerland opened strongly against China when their fourth played Alina Paetz played a draw-shot into the house to score two points in the first end. They improved their position with a steal of one point in the second end when a China take-out attempt took out one of their own stones by mistake.

In the third end, China’s fourth player Rui Wang hit out a Swiss stone to score two points and reduce Switzerland’s lead to 3-2.

In the eighth end, and down by 4-5, China’s Wang played a precise double take-out and stay, that just avoided a Swiss stone at the back of the house, to score two points and move her team onto a 6-5 lead.

After blanking the ninth end, Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz delivered a last-stone draw in the tenth end that just got around a front guard and came to rest in the four-foot to score two points and win the game by 7-6. This result now sets up a semi-final showdown with Korea for the Swiss.

After this win, Switzerland’s skip Silvana Tirinzoni said, “It seems like we like close games, it was just like it’s been all week, with us having to win on the last shot. Alina [Paetz, fourth player] had two amazing ones so I’m really happy that we won. The difference between me and Alina is that I always prefer the hit and she always prefers the draw. I knew she would be close with either and obviously the draw was the right call.”

In the other qualification game, Russia faced Japan.

The Russians blanked the first end, and, in the second end, their skip Alina Kovaleva played a hit on a Japan stone to score two points and open the scoring.

A key point of the game came in the fourth end when Kovaleva came up short of the house with her final draw, to give up a steal of four points to Japan, who moved into a 6-2 lead.

In the sixth end, Japan’s fourth player Ikue Kitazawa played a hit on a Russian stone to score two more points and move on to an 8-3 lead.

After giving up a single-point steal in the seventh end, in the eighth, Russia’s Kovaleva could not get inside two Japanese stones already lying in the house and Japan stole two more points. Russia then conceded with the final score at 11-3 to Japan.

The Japanese now go on to face Olympic champions Sweden in their semi-final.

Afterwards, Japan’s skip Seina Nakajima said, “For this game we had really good communication and that’s why we were able to play well.”

When the high percentage levels achieved by her team in this game were pointed out to her, she added, “compared with our earlier games our play is getting higher and higher, and now we want to continue that into the semi-final. Although we were defeated by Sweden last night [in the final round-robin game], we’re now just going to prepare ourselves for meeting them again.”

Korea will now face Switzerland in the first semi-final at 14:00 followed by Sweden versus Japan at 19:00. (times are Central European Time which is GMT +1)

Results

Qualification games: Switzerland 7-6 China; Russia 3-11 Japan.

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WWCC2019 #curling