Defending back-to-back champions Russia open with win

  • Russia's Daria Shchukina during their opening win Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

Finland, Norway, Canada and Russia win their opening games in the morning draw of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017.

In a last stone decision, reigning World Champions Russia, edged Switzerland in their opening game 6-5. With the hammer in the first end, Switzerland settled for a single point. Russia responded with two points in the second end, followed by deuces traded in both ends three and four to make the score 4-3 in Russia’s favour at the fourth end break.

Switzerland tied the match with one point in the fifth end. Then with back and forth single points in the sixth and seventh end the score would be even at 5-5 headed into the final end. Russia with the last stone advantage, sealed their victory with one point in the eighth end to win their first match 6-5.

Canada needed a stolen point in an extra end to secure their first win versus Scotland. In a tight battle, Scotland had control of the game leading 4-2 headed into the final end. Scotland had a chance to end the game but ticked a guard on their final stone, giving Canada the open draw for two points for the tie. In the extra end, Canada stole the winning point after Scotland failed to be shot stone on their final take-out, allowing Canada to a 5-4 victory.

In other opening match-ups, 2016 silver medalists Norway, downed Germany 15-2 after seven ends of play. Finland defeated China 5-2 with key stolen single points in the seventh and eighth end.

They said it:

Andrew Smirnov; Russia Skip (after 6-5 over Switzerland): “I was a bit nervous, because it was a close game but the result was positive so I feel okay. Every game will be different.”

Jim Armstrong; Canada Skip (after 5-4 over Scotland): “It’s always nice to get the first one out of the way. There’s a lot of unknowns in any event and you go out there with probably a few more concerns than you should and you over think it a little bit. But, the ice is great – it held well. The rocks which we know are new – they’ve been a pleasant surprise. Believe in the ice, believe in the rocks and it will be a good week. [Having an extra end] can never hurt. It gets your intensity up a little bit and it’s a good way to start the week.”

Results session one: Russia 6-5 Switzerland; China 2-5 Finland; Norway 15-2 Germany; Canada 5-4 Scotland (extra end).

Standings after session one (W-L):

Canada 1-0
Finland 1-0
Norway 1-0
Russia 1-0
Korea 0-0
USA 0-0
China 0-1
Germany 0-1
Scotland 0-1
Switzerland 0-1

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