The Official World Curling Federation
Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Website
07th - 23rd February 2014

Men: Session 12 Roundup

Great Britain skip David Murdoch and his team will face Norway in a tie-breaker Photo: WCF/Michael Burns

China beat Great Britain by 6-5 in Monday afternoon's twelfth and final men's round-robin session to rank third overall behind top-placed Sweden and second-ranked Canada and qualify for the semi-finals of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi.

Following Denmark's 5-3 win over Norway in the same session, the fourth semi-final slot will be decided by a tie-breaker on Tuesday morning (09.00 MSK) between Norway an Great Britain, who are currently tied in fourth place.

The game between China and Great Britain was tight all the way. The advantage of last stone in the first end was won on a coin toss by China when the pre-game draw-shots by each skip that normally decide which team has last stone were measured as absolutely equal.

The teams were level at 3-3 after six ends and again, at 5-5, after nine ends.

In the tenth end, British skip David Murdoch tapped out a Chinese stone with his own last stone to lye two points, but China's skip Rui Liu drew inside both of these stones to score the one point needed for the 6-5 win that put his team into the semi-finals.

Afterwards, Liu said: “I feel very happy to have reached the play-offs. Everyone knew this was a key game for our team. We just wanted to concentrate on the game and play it our way. We didn’t think about being nervous because it was a very important game – we were quite relaxed. I think that we controlled the scoreboard, that was the key to winning this game.”

If Norway had beaten Denmark in this session, they would have been fourth and Great Britain would have ranked fifth, and out of the medal hunt, but Denmark prevailed.

After blanking the first end, Denmark scored one point in the second end to take the early lead.

Norway scored two points in the third end for 2-1, but Denmark then also scored two points in the fourth end to re-take the lead at 3-2.

Norway levelled the score at 3-3 with a single point in the sixth end. Denmark then blanked the next two ends before scoring two points in the ninth end when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne Hansen just nudged a Norwegian counter out of second-shot position, for a 5-3 led.

The Danes then spent the tenth end taking out Norwegian stones and eventually ran their opponents out of stones for a 5-3 win that gave them sixth place overall and forced Norway into the tie-breaker against Great Britain.

After this win, Denmark skip Rasmus Stjerne Hansen said: “Huge win. We had a tough week. The last two games we knew we were out but we still kept fighting, that was important for us – to go out on a high. The Norwegian guys have been playing very well and they were playing for a spot in the semi-finals, so it was not an easy game. Coming here I thought we had prepared well but then all of a sudden the Olympic ‘whatever it is’ got to us. We have to go back and learn from this."

Germany and Russia faced each other in what would be the last appearance of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games for both of them, because they were both out of the medal hunt.

This was yet another tight game, with the teams tied at 4-4 as they went into the fifth end break.

However, scores of two points in each of the sixth and eighth ends, to which Germany could only respond with one point in the seventh end, gave the Russians an 8-5 lead.

Germany scored one point in the ninth end and stole another point in the tenth end but this was not enough and Russia won by 8-7.

This result gave Russia a final ranking of seventh while Germany finished tenth.

Later, Russian skip Andrey Drozdov said: “We are very happy about beating Germany. We knew we could win this game and that’s what got us the victory. The whole Olympics was very exciting. We want to thank all the Russian fans who have supported us.”

The fourth game of this session was between European champions Switzerland and the USA, two more teams that were playing for final rankings rather than semi-final places.

Switzerland opened with a single point in the first end and then doubled their lead to 2-0 with a single-point steal in the second end.

USA blanked the third end but could only score one point in the fourth end, which kept Switzerland in the lead, at 2-1.

Switzerland moved further ahead with another single point score in the fifth end for a 3-1 halftime lead.

USA scored one point in the sixth end, but Switzerland moved into a 5-2 lead with a score of two points in the seventh end.

They added to that with a single point steal in the eighth end for a 6-2 lead and then the USA could do no more than score one point in the ninth end to leave Switzerland still ahead, by 6-3. This became the final score when the USA ran out of stones in the tenth end.

Switzerland skip Sven Michel summed up the week, saying: "It was a great experience, a great tournament, a great crowd, a great stadium. We are not too happy with our ranking but we will try our best to do better next time.”

Canada and Sweden had a bye in this session.

RESULTS
Men Session 12:
China 6, Great Britain 5; Germany 7, Russia 8; Switzerland 6, USA 3; Norway 3, Denmark 5. (bye – Canada and Sweden)

STANDINGS
Men’s standings after 12 sessions:

1. Sweden 8-1 (To play winner of tie-breaker in semi-final)
2. Canada 7-2 (To play China in semi-final)
3. China 7-2 (To play Canada in semi-final)
4. Norway 5-4 (To play Great Britain in tie-breaker)
4. Great Britain 5-4 (To play Norway in tie-breaker)
6. Denmark 4-5
7. Russia 3-6
8. Switzerland 3-6
9. USA 2-7
10. Germany 1-8

The tie-breaker between Norway and Great Britain will be played at 09:00 (MSK) on Tuesday February 18, 2014. The winner of the tie-breaker will play Sweden in the semi-finals.

NOTE: Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at www.worldcurling.org/rules-and-regulations

WEBSITES:
WCF Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition website: www.sochi2014.worldcurling.net

Live scores, statistics and play by play: http://sochi2014.worldcurling.net/olympics/curling-live-scores

See the WCF's latest photo galleries from the event: http://sochi2014.worldcurling.net/olympics/galleries

Official Sochi 2014 website (including links to live broadcast games): http://www.sochi2014.com/en/curling

WCF Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldcurlingfederation
WCF Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia. Hashtags: #curling #sochi2014

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