April 15, 2013, Fredericton, Canada (ISN) – Spain were the talk of the town in Fredericton as they picked up two victories from two today, including an evening win against hosts Canada, in the second day of play at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2013 being held in the Grant-Harvey Centre.
After securing a 13-4 victory over Romania in six ends earlier in the day, Spain shocked hosts Canada by defeating them 7-6 in the evening session of play. Although they scored four points in the first three ends, Canada managed to draw level after scoring two points in the sixth end and another three points in the seventh end. But Spain held their nerve and Irantzu Garcia drew to the button. Although a measure was required, Garcia did enough to secure the one point needed for their victory.
That defeat was Canada’s second of the day. After opening the game with two points in the first end and forcing Switzerland to only one point in the second end, Canada’s Robert Desjardins missed a double-takeout attempt in the third end that led to a steal of three points by Switzerland when Néron was heavy on her last-rock draw. Switzerland stole three more points in the fourth end and four points in the fifth end on their way to a 12-5 victory earlier in the day.
Elsewhere in group A, China recorded the biggest winning margin of morning play as they defeated Pacific-Asia rivals Korea 10-1 in only six ends while Hungary picked up an important 6-5 victory after a close game with Russia.
In the evening session, defending champions Switzerland kept up their 100% record with a 9-2 victory over Russia, which leaves them at the top of the Group A standings with three wins and no losses.
China secured their second win of the day with an 11-2 win against Romania, which saw them taking four points in the first end, a lead they were not to lose throughout the game.
It took an extra end, but Italy finally secured their first victory of the Championship at the hands of Korea. The Pacific-Asia doubles pairing of Jae-Sung Ahn and Hyun-Ho Synn went into the fourth end break with a 4-1 lead but could not hold of the late Italian charge which saw the team from Europe claim victory thanks to two scores of three points in the fifth and seventh ends on their way to a 8-7 win.
Group A Player Reaction:
After defeating Canada, Spain’s Sergio Vas said: “We feel rely really good. We know it’s really important for a country like Spain to beat Canada. We know we have a lot of supporters in Spain so we are really, really excited. I think we were really consistent throughout this game, we have got draw weight which is really important, which our coach told us. So if we continue playing like this we will definitely have the opportunity to win some more games.”
On throwing the last stone against Canada, Irantzu Garcia said: “I was really nervous, I had been playing quite a bad game so I didn’t feel like really good. I wanted to play a hit but he (Sergio) told me I had to play the draw – ‘make it and we’re going to make it’ – so I just tried and did it.”
After defeating Korea, China’s Xinna Yu said: “Today is much better. After yesterday’s game we now know the ice and we know the rocks, so we performed much better today. We have only played seven games together before, but we have been playing a lot of team curling and our goal is to reach the play-offs so hopefully we can achieve this if we keep playing like this.”
Switzerland’s Martin Rios, after defeating Canada, said: “I think in the third end he missed a pretty easy double to sit two; that was the moment when the momentum switched to our side, and we knew when we got the momentum, we couldn’t let it get away another time. We’re unbeaten, but it’s just another game. We have to look forward. We have to focus on the next game against Russia. Anything can happen in mixed doubles.”
There was two sessions of play in Group B today. In the morning session, Australia kicked off their Championship with a loss to fellow Pacific-Asia competitors Japan by 11-6 in seven ends.
France improved on yesterday’s performance as they traded the lead throughout their game against last year’s bronze medallists, Austria. However it was the Austrian pair who came out on top, eventually winning by 9-7 in part due to a score of three points in the fourth end and a steal of two points in the fifth end.
Coming off the back of an impressive opening performance against the French yesterday, Denmark couldn’t make it two wins in a row as they lost out to New Zealand 6-5.
The Czech Republic meanwhile notched up their second win of the Championship as they defeated Slovenia 7-2 in only seven ends after they started off the scoring with three points in the first end.
In the evening session, Australia bounced back from their earlier defeat with a 7-6 win over the USA, sealing their victory in the eighth and final end with a score of two points.
France meanwhile picked up their first win of the Championship with a comfortable 9-1 victory against Slovenia after scoring all nine points in the first five ends.
Austria started well against Denmark, racing to a 6-0 lead after three ends. However, with two scores of three points in the fourth and sixth ends Denmark tried to get back in to the game. Their efforts were without reward however as Austria secured a 9-6 victory which keeps them at the top of the Group B standings
The Czech Republic joined Austria with three wins and no losses at the top of the standings after they also won, this time by 8-1 against an on-form New Zealand team, thanks in part to scores of single points in each of the first four ends.
Group B Player Reaction:
After their victory over New Zealand, Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hajkova said: “We didn’t know before the tournament what to expect because we had no idea what our opponents are like. I think we are fine with these wins but all of the games were really tight. It doesn’t look like that on the scoreboard, but we were still under pressure.”
After defeating Slovenia, France’s Romain Borini said: “It feels better than after the first game. We know the ice and we feel better on the ice. The ice was very different than the training ice, so we had bad speed for our draws. We are more optimistic now. We hope to continue like that and feel good on the ice.”
Following their win over USA, Australia’s Jay Merchant said: “Making more shots than our game this morning helped us (win this game). Coming out and enjoying ourselves and playing well – we did just that today, it was a good game, we made a lot of shots and it worked out in the end.”
Lyn Gill added: “It means a lot that I am here. It shows that curling is building a lot in Australia, hopefully it will help promote the sport throughout the country so that we can get more juniors and people of all ages involved in curling. I’m very excited.”
Group C only played one session of play today, which saw the Netherlands and Estonia pick up their first wins of the Championship.
In their game against Latvia, the Netherlands started well with a score of four points in the first end. They were never to lose the lead as they went on to win by 10-4 in seven ends.
Estonia meanwhile endured a tougher game against Slovakia. Going into the sixth end, Slovakia had a 7-3 lead, but in Mixed Doubles, the lead can change hands very quickly. That proved to be the case as Estonia took six points from the last three ends to win by 9-7.
Norway continued their winning form as they picked up their third win of the Championship with a comprehensive 9-5 win over England, while Scotland secured an important win over previously unbeaten Sweden, the Scots winning by 8-5.
Group C Player Reaction:
Norway’s Magnus Nedregotten said: “We started quite bad in this game, as happened in the previous game we played – bad communication. But we started getting better and better until we suddenly got a three against us in the fifth end. After that we pulled ourselves together and managed to turn it around. Both of us started to play better, communication got better and thankfully we won quite comfortably in the end.”
The Netherland’s Mark Neeleman, said: “We thought it was going to be a very tight game. Latvia is a very good team and they always have good players. They did a good job on keeping up. They came back with a two right away so you’ve got to keep up your guard. The thrill of this game is that you have to keep up your guard. If you let your guard down and you miss a few shots you don’t have many stones per end, you only have five stones.”
Scotland’s Bruce Mouat said: “We thought in the fourth end we were only one down and we didn’t have a very good start, but we knew being one down isn’t that bad and that if we come out shooting well, we can definitely come back from that.”
Standings after Day 2:
Switzerland won 3 – lost 0
Czech Republic 3-0
New Zealand 2-1