China continue tussle with Norway for pole position

  • China’s skip Haitao Wang © WCF / Tom Rowland

In Thursday afternoon’s 13th round-robin session of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2019 in Stirling, Scotland, a 4-3 extra-end win over Russia meant that China joined Norway, who sat out the session, at the top of the rankings, on six wins and two losses.

The game between Korea and Germany also went to an extra end before Korea won by 8-5. In the other games, Estonia beat Latvia by 11-3, while Canada were 7-3 winners over United States.

Down by 2-3 against China, Russia made the decision to blank the seventh end to retain last stone advantage for the eighth end. Russia successfully built a split-house set-up in the eighth as they chased the two points needed, but skip Andrei Meshcheriakov hit and rolled with his first stone of the end and then had to draw his second stone into position to score one, tie the game and go into an extra end – this time without last stone. Then, in the extra end, Meshcheriakov wrecked his last attempt to come into the house, giving China one point and the 4-3 win.

Now sitting in joint top spot, China’s skip Haitao Wang said, “We played better than them to win that game. We’re at the top now but we must still do our best in the games still to come.”

Korea and Germany were tied at 3-3 at the break, and there was never more than one point between the teams until the extra end. In that end, Korea built a strong position and were lying three, guarded, leaving Germany skip Christiane Putzich with only an attempt to come in off a wing stone. This did not come off and Korea claimed their 8-5 win without having to play their last stone.

Against Latvia, Estonia – both competing at their first Worlds – opened with a single point in the first end and then had a steal of four points in the second end. A score of five points in the sixth end completed their 11-3 victory.

After the game, their skip Viljar Villiste said, “The second end was really important, they tried to make a really hard shot and that’s why we made a big end. It’s all getting better for us, now that we’ve found our game, and everybody back home is getting excited for us now. I feel more confident and relaxed now.”

Canada faced United States in the fourth game of the session, and, after going into the break 4-1 up, a further score of three points in the sixth end was enough to see the Canadians win by 7-3 after seven ends.

Behind joint leaders China and Norway, three teams – Latvia, Canada and Korea – all have five wins, although the Latvians have played one game less than the others.

Germany, on just one win, remain at the bottom of the table and, in their three remaining games, their attention must now turn to trying to avoid one of the three relegation places from this event.

Results

Session 13: United States 3-7 Canada; Latvia 3-11 Estonia; Korea 8-5 Germany; Russia 3-4 China

Standings (W-L)

China 6-2
Norway 6-2
Latvia 5-3
Canada 5-4
Korea 5-4
Estonia 4-4
Russia 4-4
Scotland 4-4
Switzerland 4-4
Slovakia 3-5
United States 3-6
Germany 1-8

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