April 17, 2013, Fredericton, NB (ISN) – Switzerland and Scotland remain the only two undefeated teams at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2013 after four days of play at the Grant Harvey Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Finland managed to pick up their first win of the Championship, while Norway suffered their first defeat, and with only two days of round-robin play to go, there’s still a lot to play for.
Group A Round-up:
In the morning session of play, Switzerland continued their 100% record with a 13-1 victory over Italy, scoring all 13 of their points in the first five ends before Italy conceded after scoring one point of their own in the sixth end.
Hungary won by the same scoreline, 13-1, again in only six ends, against Korea who have been struggling to find form at this championship so far.
Russia picked up an important win against Romania, as they scored 10 points in six ends, without reply, to defeat Romania.
China defeated Spain in a game of two halves. With the scores tight up until the fourth end break, China advanced with scores of two points in the fifth end and steals of single points in the sixth and seventh end on their way to a 7-2 victory.
In the evening session of play, Switzerland made a dramatic comeback to beat China. After three ends, China were leading by 5-1 but after Switzerland scored three points in the fourth end, they continued their comeback, finishing the game off with a score of three points in the seventh end then stealing two points in the eighth end to win 10-7.
Hungary remain in the hunt for a play-off spot as they defeated hosts Canada 8-4 in seven ends. After Canada opened the scoring with a single point in the first end, Hungary went on to score all eight of their points in the next five ends. Although Canada managed to restore some pride with a score of three points in the seventh end, they conceded with the final score 8-4.
Russia made it two wins from two today as they defeated Spain 7-2 in seven ends and end the day in third position in the standings.
Italy recovered from their morning loss against Switzerland to win 10-2 against Romania. Like Korea, Romania are still looking for their first win at this Championship after four days of play.
Group A Player Reaction:
After their win against Korea in the morning session, Hungary’s Zsolt Kiss, said: “It was crucial for us to get some momentum back. I think we were playing really good today. It was crucial for us that we almost made our first six shots. We have been playing together for two years, we’ve practiced a lot for mixed doubles so I guess you could say that we are specified for this event.”
After defeating Spain in the evening session, Russia’s Yana Nekrasova said: “I don’t remember this game but I know that we won. That for me is the most important thing. We played a much better game than we did before.
“I think the teams have changed a lot since 2010 when we won the gold medal. The standard of play has definitely become a lot stronger as well.”
Group B Round-up:
In Group B’s morning session of play, Austria came up against Australia. The game’s most crucial moment coming in the third end when Austria scored three points which gave them the platform to advance to a 7-2 victory.
France also picked up an important win in the morning, defeating Japan after scoring three points in the second end before stealing another three points in the next two ends on their way to a 8-4 victory after seven ends.
The USA made it back-to-back victories as they won their morning game against Slovenia. Steals of single points in each of the last three ends helped them towards a 6-2 victory.
The Czech Republic kept up the pressure on Austria as they earned themselves a hard fought win against Denmark. The Czech’s raced to a 5-1 lead by the end of the fifth end, only to allow Denmark back into the game. However, the Czech’s held on to win by 6-3.
Austria finished the day top of the standings on five wins and one loss as they defeated USA in the evening session of play.
After taking four points in the first end and another three points in the third end, they were up by 7-1 after three ends. But the USA got back into the game with a score of four points in the fourth end, but it was not enough as Austria finally won by 10-7.
With the Czech Republic sitting out this round, New Zealand seized their chance to join them on four wins and one loss as they defeated France 9-1 in six ends.
Championship newcomers Slovenia were close to securing their first victory of the week, but Australia managed to level things up by stealing one point in the eighth end to tie the game 8-8. Slovenia could not take advantage of having last stone in the extra end as Australia stole another point to win the game 9-8.
The Denmark versus Japan game ended with the same scoreline, this time in favour of Japan. With Hiroaki Kashiwagi playing with an injury, the Japanese team switched playing order, a change that paid off as they ran out 9-8 winners, clinched in the eighth end with a score of three points.
Group B Player Reaction:
After their win over Denmark, Japan’s Hiroaki Kashiwagi said: “It was a tough game tonight. We had a big miss in the seventh end, which could have cost us the game. I thought there was a real chance we could lose but we both had the belief that we could still win the game and we did. I had a sore knee throughout this game so we changed position – Yumiko threw third rocks and she played very well so I would like to say thanks to Yumiko, she won this game for us.”
After their win against the USA, Austria’s Christian Roth, said: “We had a nice start in the first half, a really good first end, we scored four points. The second end we forced one from him then scored three back, so we had a really good start. Second half they had some pretty good shots and we had some trouble scoring ones.”
Claudia Toth added: “When we were up 7-1 with hammer we tried to keep it open a little bit as we knew they had really good draw weight and benefited from drawing around the guard. So we just wanted them to have a few hits and harder angle hits. It didn’t always work but I think it was really to our benefit to open things up.”
Group C Round-up:
With only one session of play in Group C today, Scotland remain at the top the standings with five wins and no losses after a comprehensive win over Estonia after seven ends of play. After taking four points from the first two ends, they remained in control throughout the game, eventually winning by 8-3.
Sweden kept up the pressure on Scotland as they emerged winners of the Scandinavian derby – inflicting Norway’s first defeat upon them. Although the Norwegians managed to draw level in the eighth end, Sweden managed to clinch a 9-6 victory in the extra end.
Finland managed to pick up their first win of the Championship after England’s Ben Fowler could not take advantage of having last stone in the eighth end, giving Finland a steal of one point and a 5-4 victory.
Meanwhile, Latvia picked up their second win of the Championship as they defeated Slovakia 9-5.
Group C Player Reaction:
Finland’s Paavo Kuosmanen said: “It feels great. It always feels better to win than lose. We had a tough start with Norway and Scotland and Sweden. I didn’t play with Katja very much before the tournament so we didn’t have much practice.
“We didn’t play our best today but we played better. In previous games we always had one catastrophic end but maybe today we didn’t. We had some good ends, some good throws, maybe one miss in one end, but no catastrophic ends in this game which made a difference.”
Latvia’s Renars Freidensons said: “We had a bad start in the beginning of the tournament and lost three close games. Yesterday in the evening we had a really good game against Norway but unfortunately lost. We really felt that after we scored three in the first end, we had great control of the game.”
“We have our own strategy and tactics. We’ve been playing together for six years, so we are playing the same set up that we always have. It’s just that it’s working now. It was quite tough to catch on to the ice. Sometimes we were heavy and sometimes we were weak. Our ice is a bit slower in Latvia, but we’re getting the hang of it and I don’t think this will be our last win.”
Sweden’s Frederik Hallström said: “I had to try and make a couple of shots because I made a couple of terrible shots earlier in the game and put a lot of pressure under Elisabeth and that wasn’t the plan at the start of the game. I had to try and perform a little bit better. We had a lot of prep talk before the game but it’s very hard because there’s not a lot of time in between each shot. She’s a wonderful player to play with because she has a very good temperament, and that’s very encouraging for me.”
Standings after Day 4:
Switzerland won 6 – lost 0
Czech Republic 4-1
New Zealand 4-1