Estonia claim first world championship win over Paralympic champions

  • First world championship win for Estonia © WCF / Richard Gray

With a score of three points in the last end, Estonia handed China their first loss of the event while at the same time recording their first-ever World Championships win – by 7-6 – in Tuesday morning’s sixth round-robin session of the World Wheelchair Championship in Stirling, Scotland.

Other winners in this session were Russia, who beat Latvia by 7-4; Scotland – 7-4 winners over Norway; and, after an extra end and an umpire’s measure, Switzerland, by 6-5 over Slovakia.

The game between China and Estonia see-sawed all the way. China opened with a single point in the first end, then Estonia took the lead with a score of two points in the second end.

The teams were level twice – at 2-2 after three ends and 4-4 after the sixth end. China then moved clear in the seventh end with a draw for two points and a 6-4 lead before Estonia delivered their historic win in the eighth.

After his team’s win in his country’s first-ever World Championship appearance, Estonia skip Viljar Villiste said, “that feels good! We weren’t playing so well when we started but now, we’re playing better, and hopefully we can stay there. This is my first world championships and it’s amazing. The organisation here is good and everything else is great too.”

Russia scored five points in the second end of their game against Latvia to take an early dominant lead.

At one stage in the seventh end, they were lying five shots again and looking for another big score but, eventually, when their skip Andrei Meshcheriakov came up short of the house with his final draw, they had to settle for one point and a 7-4 lead.

After this, Russia ran Latvia out of stones in the eighth end for their win.

Scotland faced a previously unbeaten Norway in this session.

Norway had a 3-2 lead at the fourth-end break, but Scotland nosed ahead with a score of two points in the fifth end for a 4-3 lead.

Norway levelled the game with a single point in the sixth end, then in the seventh end, Scottish skip Aileen Neilson played a nose-hit for one point inside two Norwegian stones already in the house to lead by 5-4.

In the eighth end, Norway’s skip Rune Lorentsen wrecked with his final draw attempt to hand Scotland a steal of two points and a 7-4 win.

Afterwards, skip Neilson said, “we went into that game knowing that if we played the way we played some of the ends yesterday and kept consistent over eight ends, then we’d be in with a chance. We had a solid first four ends and our challenge has been to maintain that over eight ends – for once we managed to do that. Now we just have to keep doing that for the rest of the week.”

Switzerland faced Slovakia in the fourth game of this session and, thanks to single point steals in the fifth and sixth ends, the Swiss built a 4-1 lead.

Slovakia scored one point in the seventh end, then stole three points in the eighth end, to tie the game at 5-5 and force an extra end. Then, in that extra end, Switzerland were finally able to claim a 6-5 win after an umpire’s measure gave them one point.

After this session, four teams are tied at the top of the table on three wins and one loss – China, Norway, Russia, and Switzerland while Canada and Germany are both still looking for their first wins.

Results

Session six: Latvia 4-7 Russia; Norway 4-7 Scotland; Estonia 7-6 China; Switzerland 6-5 Slovakia.

Standings (W-L)

China 3-1
Norway 3-1
Russia 3-1
Switzerland 3-1
Korea 2-1
United States 2-1
Latvia 2-2
Scotland 2-2
Estonia 1-3
Slovakia 1-3
Canada 0-3
Germany 0-3

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