The Official World Curling Federation
Olympic Qualification Event Website
10th - 15th December 2013

OQE 2013: Day 3 Late Round-up

The Czech Republic ended Korea's unbeaten record tonight Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Thursday evening's fifth session of men's round-robin play at the World Curling Federation's Olympic Qualification Event in Fuessen, Germany saw the previously unbeaten Korea lose their 100% record and Finland pick up their second win of the competition.

These results and the others in this session mean that all eight teams here are still in the running for the two remaining places in next February's curling competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, with two more round-robin sessions to play on Friday.

The Czech Republic caught Korea cold in this session, scoring one point in the first end and then stealing two more points in the second end.

Korea responded well, scoring their first point in the third end and then stealing two points in the fourth end to level the score.

The Czechs moved ahead again with two points in the fifth end but the eighth end proved to be crucial as Czech skip Jiri Snitil brought his last stone through a narrow port to knock out a counting Korean stone and score three points for an 8-4 lead.

Korean skip Soo-Hyuk Kim was heavy and wide with his last draw of the ninth end to hand the Czechs a further steal of two points, at which stage the Koreans conceded, with a final score of 10-4.

After the game, Czech Republic skip Jiri Snitil said: "That feels good. We played much better than in the previous two games and it paid off. Our front end had a good game."

Speaking about the general situation he said: "It's getting exciting. You've got to be focused, on every shot, on every end, on every game, and don't worry about what happens 'if'. If you care too much about what happens then you're dead. In some other tournaments you may depend on other results but here, it is won two, lost two for nearly everybody, so it doesn't matter."

This result moves the Czech Republic onto three wins in shared second place, while Korea still lead the table, on four wins.

Germany got their second win of the day when their fourth player Felix Schulze had a nose-hit with his last stone to score one point for a 6-5 win over New Zealand.

This result means that Germany move on to shared second place on three wins while New Zealand remain on two wins, sharing fifth place.

The USA also moved on to three wins, beating Japan by 8-2 in eight ends.

The Americans established an early lead when, after Japan opened with a single point in the first end, they scored two points in the second end before stealing a single point in the third end for 3-1.

A steal of two points for USA in the eighth end, when Japan skip Yusuke Morozumi was heavy with his draw, sealed the USA win.

Japan now have just one win and are at the foot of the standings, but are still, theoretically, able to qualify for play-off games.

After this game, USA skip John Shuster said: "I think we’ve finally started tightening it up out there and got a lot more full shots and a lot less of the half-shots and misses. I was really proud of the guys. We executed a bunch of times around guards. Just every single shot, every single end we were all over them."

Finland faced France in the fourth game of the session and like the other games, it was tight all the way.

After France blanked the first two ends, Finland opened the scoring with a steal of two points in the third end. France then levelled the game in the fourth end with a score of two points.

In the tenth end, with the score at 5-4 to France, Finnish skip Aku Kauste tapped out a French counter to score two points and claim victory, at 6-5.

This result means that both France and Finland join New Zealand on two wins and after the game, Kauste said: "We really needed those wins today. I think the morning game was really tough for us, but I think I made the right shots. I didn’t make everything but I made the important shots. It was really even tonight, both teams played quite well, a little bit more defensively perhaps than the earlier games.

He added: “These wins keep us pretty close to the pack so it seems like it will be tight tomorrow. We just need to win two more games tomorrow and see what happens with the rest of the results."

The final day of Round-robin play begins at 08:00 (CET) tomorrow morning.

RESULTS & STANDINGS

Men’s Session 5: Germany 6, New Zealand 5; Korea 4, Czech Republic 10; Japan 2, USA 8; France 5, Finland 6.

Men’s Standings after 5 sessions:
1. Korea 4-1
2. Czech Republic 3-2
2. Germany 3-2
2. USA 3-2
5. Finland 2-3
5. France 2-3
5. New Zealand 2-3
8. Japan 1-4.

Extensive televised coverage of the Olympic Qualification 2013 from Fuessen can be seen by viewers in Japan on NHK’s channel and digital media platforms. All Chinese games will be televised by China’s CCTV sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV

Event website: www.sochi2014.worldcurling.net/oqe for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results and more information about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Event Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldcurlingfederation
Twitter Hashtags: #oqe2013 #curling

NOTE: The eight men's and women's nations already qualified for Sochi 2014 are (in ranking order): www.sochi2014.worldcurling.net/olympics/olympic-qualification

Men: Canada, Sweden, Great Britain (Scotland's world championship points are used for qualification purposes), Norway, Denmark, China, Switzerland, and Russia (as host).

Women: Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain (Scotland's world championship points are used for qualification purposes), Canada, USA, Denmark, Korea and Russia (as host).

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