World Wheelchair-B event moves into play-off stages

  • Czech Republic celebrate © WCF / Katja Kiiskinen

Slovakia and Latvia have both qualified directly to the semi-finals of the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2018 in Lohja, Finland on Wednesday (14 November), at the conclusion of the event’s round robin.

Slovakia topped Group A undefeated with six wins from six, while Latvia were first in Group B with five wins from six games.

Czech Republic and Estonia also qualified from Group A and Sweden and hosts Finland progressed from Group B.

  • For all scores from the round-robin visit, www.worldcurling.org/wwhcc2019/livescores

    Czech Republic will play Finland (A2vB3) and Estonia will meet Sweden (A3vB2) in this evening’s qualification session. The winners of these games will progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on Thursday (15 November) morning.

    The three medal winners in Lohja will all qualify for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2019 in Stirling, Scotland from 3 to 10 March. The three medallists will join the already qualified Norway, Russia, Scotland, China, Canada, Korea, United States, Switzerland and Germany (ordered based on the final ranking from the 2017 Worlds).

    On taking the direct route to the semi-finals, Slovakia’s skip Jaroslav Duris said: ”All the games were very tight and it was sometimes very stressful, but we are very happy. The ice has been very good and easy to play on. Our plan is to just use the time before the semi for resting and relaxing.”

    Also, Latvia’s skip Polina Rozkova explained how much of an achievement reaching the semi-finals has been, in the face of some challenges her team has had to overcome. She said: ”One of our players, second Agris Lasmans, is normally a wheelchair basketball player, so he hardly has any time for curling training, but he’s still a brilliant player. Then, our lead Ojars Briedis has had many operations on his right arm, so now he is pushing stones with his left. So, even though we are not a new team, there has been quite a lot of difficulties and changes to figure out. For the semi-finals, we will just focus on playing well as a team.”

    Meanwhile, the hosts, who finished third in their group are pleased with their progress. Skip Yrjo Jaaskelainen, said: ”It is our first international championship with this team and it has a been a great week so far. We have constantly improved our game throughout the week. We have gained a lot of confidence with our shot-making and improved our team communication tremendously.”

    The qualification games will be played at 17:30 on Wednesday evening. Time is Eastern European Time (+2 hours from Universal Coordinated Time)

    The World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2018 is the qualification event for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2019. Therefore, to follow the build-up to the Worlds in March and coverage of both events, follow the World Curling Federation on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and by searching the hashtag #WWhCC2019 #curling